Tag Archives: miscellany

Run Zane, run!

Sir Ken Robinson’s talk entitled “Do schools kill creativity?” may be old news to many, but I just discovered it today via this place. I think I love this man. Or, at least his message.

I’m almost always angsty in regard to my children’s schooling. I think, wonder, question, ponder, imagine and pray (sometimes in that order and sometimes in the reverse order) about it nine days out of 10. I’d guess that this intense preoccupation is deeply rooted in my own schooling experiences, but maybe not. Whatever the case, I think about it a lot. I desperately want my children to have a positive schooling experience. That sounds so generic and vague but it (“positive”) truly is what I mean—in the biggest, best sense of the word. Of course I want them to learn stuff, but I’m passionate (again with the overused and thusly generic sounding word) about them learning about themselves as created, creative beings and learning how to think and learning to love learning and acquiring and nurturing internal resources that will both allow and spur them on to be the best versions of themselves possible. Oh my, I feel a preachy, esoteric fight song coming on.

Presently, our six-year-old son attends first grade at a local private Christian school. It’s been fine. A bit costly and fine. It’s not perfect and I don’t expect to find a perfect school. Duh. We’re trying to “take it one year at a time” as many parents say and we are glad that in this day and age (and state) there are so many great schooling options.

This darling, beloved, love-him-so-much-I-can-hardly-stand-it son of mine talks almost all the time. If he’s thinking it, he’s saying it. I think it would drive even Jesus himself bats. We’re trying to help him with this way in which he relates to life and processes information as we don’t want the poor child to drive everyone around him bats. It occurred to me this evening, as I listened to Sir Ken’s speech, that perhaps I should be helping dear son learn how to be an amazing orator, speaking with authority since he so loves to do it. He also loves to run. He can run quite fast and for a suprisingly long time. We recently made a path around the back half of our property (1.4 acres) for him to run. He enjoys it, but still likes to go to a park or track where he can just run sraight and fast and flat out for, like I said, a fairly shocking length of time. It’s like he just comes alive when he gets to runrunrunrunrun. So what is second grade at the Christian School he attends known for? Sittin’ down and shuttin’ up. Hmmm.

So, what say you about elementary education?

Weekly Goat Report: 1 Goat!

Well, kids, it’s time for the weekly Goat report here on Addison Road. We finally got our first sale through Operation Christmas Goat. That makes a total of $0.80 raised so far, which Gretchen and I will round up to $75, or one goat.

One goat down, 99 to go. That sounds like a parable.

update: if you’re on facebook, you can join the group. Invite your friends, help promote this thing!

the good, the bad and The 405

The Good
Brian and I have spent the last week away from home and it’s been good. Home is good too, but I’m first in line for any chance to have a break from the norm. There has been mostly good on this trip, with very little bad and most of that badness has had to do with The 405. Some of the goodest of the good was the goodness of this beautiful, highly taxed state we call home. I’m certain my husband’s salt and pepper hair would still be a youthful all-over brown if we lived in a state where a house mortgage was a three digit number and property taxes didn’t make grown men cry, but then we’d have really, really high medical bills what with all the anti-depressants and therapy I would need to get through every winter. So, financially, it’s probably a wash. But back to the California goodness…. As we sat in a charming Morro bay restaurant this last week, munching incredibly fresh and tasty fish tacos while gazing out at the sea, being uninterruppted by the dearly loved and pesky small folk we call our own and watching sailboats drift by, I said to Brian: “Could you ever live in the midwest again?” (Ok, I said it more like “Could you EEEEEEEEEVER live in….”) He nearly cut me off with his impassioned “NO!” and then made that little scoffing sound in his throat. Brian is not a man prone to being impassioned about much. Technology (yes, all of it), a really great egg-salad sandwich, and cars that look pretty and go much faster than any husband and father of two ever need propel himself anywhere are usually the limit of B’s impassionedness. So, being that I’m not a fan of my own SAD, this response of his brought me great comfort. As we glanced up at the bar tv between bites of fishy taco, we marveled at how very happy the snow-covered football fans in some large midwestern stadium seemed to be. Sitting where we were, it struck us as a bit ludicrous that being covered in snow, whilst hooting it up about one’s favorite football player sludging around hundreds of feet below at a stadium packed with other chilly, pale, casserole-lovin’ midwesterners could elicit the kind of happiness that the people on the screen were showing. But apparently, it can. I’m sure that whole snowy football, bleak landscape and no spring until May or June thing just totally rocks. Rock on midwesterners! Whoo-hoo! So yeah, California, even with it’s high prices and even higher taxes is to me, very very good. The mountains, sunshine, beaches, forests, lakes, sunshine, sunshine and sunshine outweigh the cost in my book. California good.

From Morro Bay we went on to Santa Barbara (State street: bad. Rural Santa Barbara and the wineries and the ocean: good.) From Santa Barbara we went on to L.A.

The Bad
Here’s the thing: we liked L.A. when we lived there. We liked it a lot in fact. Previously, we had lived in indiana, Virginia and Tennessee and between the two of us, we also have spent time living in Washington, New York, Michigan and Minnesota. When we lived in L.A., we always said that out of all the places we’d lived, we liked L.A. the best. We meant it. Having now lived in northern CA for three years, we experience the predictable culture shock whenever we come back. Perhaps L.A. isn’t “bad,” per se, (though parts of it are…um, why exactly were we so ok with living in the valley?!?!?) but seriously, why is everyone so sad and angry here? When did the L.A. politeness level become something akin to that in NYC? I discovered the key to a happier L.A. consumer/retail experience last night though: just go to a really extra nice restaurant with your girlfriends and whenever the server comes near, order yet another item off the menu. Just keep ordering. For hours. Then leave a really big tip. Everyone gets really nice when you do this. Then go home for another year because it will take you that long to financially recoup. (Somebody get an oxygen tank for Brian…he just grabbed his wallet and then passed out when he read this. Oh, and look at that, his hair just went ALL gray! He looks so cute like that! Kinda distinguished and everything.)

The 405
What’s worse than “bad?” Are you thinking of those words right now? Yeah, it’s that.

No, It’s BECAUSE I’m a capitalist

A portion of a conversation I had with a socialist friend, early in the morning, when they probably weren’t thinking clearly:

Socialist Friend: … which is why I think the writer’s strike is returning power to the people, which is great. Although I’m sure you probably hate the union and think this is totally evil.

Pigheaded Capitalist Me: No, actually, I think this is a good strike.

SF: what? wait, you’re a conservative, free market fanboy. How can you be in favor of the strike?

PCM: It’s because I’m a raging free market fanboy. There is no right more basic to the freedom of the market than the right to withhold goods and services. Refusing to work for less than a certain wage is a capitalist move, not a socialist one.

My psyche hates me before a show

You have no talent worse yet you have no skill worse yet people secretly know this but no one is telling you even the people who have purchased your work and can’t stop gushing on about it are really just a part of a well hidden secret plan called ‘let’s just be nice to June but not tell her she sucks as an artist (cuz’ didn’t she have some weird, big head injury awhile back or something like that?)’ and no one except your husband and your mother-in-law are going to come to this show and no one is going to ‘get it’ and certainly no one is going to buy anything and if they do it means you’re not really an artist anyway which you well know and if you really loved your kids you wouldn’t have played Go Fish with them only twice today and Bingo only once and made homemade pizza for them but you would’ve instead not painted at all today and how many times in the last week do you think your husband has internally rolled hie eyes and somewhere deep, deep, deep down wished he’d married one of those nice midwestern girls who love to cook and are babymakers and who think sports are fun to watch and buy regular milk instead of organic and are you forgetting that all these paintings are stupid and infantile and look like your preschooler made them and people are just going to smile and tell you how great they all are and how great you are and how great the desserts are and how great the setting is and how great it is that you do this because what the frikkity do you expect people to say when you’re standing right there and they are looking at your sorry excuse for a piece of art and thinking ‘what the frikkity is she thinking…I could so do this’ because they are they really are they really no kidding seriously are a part of that secert ‘be nice to June even though she sucks’ plan.

Saturday, November 3rd, 7:00pm in Auburn, CA: my next show.

Come on baby…

Hey Roadies…

So, here’s the scoop:

My beautiful wife of 8.4 years and I have spoken a couple of times on “Date Nights” for local groups. The basic gist is the importance of romancing your significant other, as well as creative ways to do so, long after the proverbial “honeymoon” is over.

I’ll post again next week, and tell a bit more of what Rona and I actually talk about, but I was hoping you guys can give us a hand for our next speaking engagement. With complete understanding of the can of worms I’m about to open (given the high average intelligence and the low average maturity of the Addison crew), I pose the following question:

How do you continue to light the fire in your significant other?

Sincerely,

Matty

On 30

Well, it happened. October 14th came and went. And with it, out went my 20′s. For the past few days I’ve been fielding questions like, “How does it feel to be old?” and “So, what is 30 like?” and “Are you depressed?”  And I answered:

“It feels sort of the same.” “It’s just like 29.” “Yes, I am depressed.” and “Please go away.”

I’m not sure why I’m feeling like this. It doesn’t have anything to do really with health or age or social interaction. For me, the pressure is this:

It’s time to get your shit together. 

Pay your cell phone bill on time. Stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Get serious about marriage. Stop just keeping your business alive and grow it. Make sure your health insurance is the best coverage you can afford. Think about selling the motorcycle. Stop pretending that certain people you’ve called friends are actually friends. Have a plan. Quit smoking. Don’t eat fried food like a crackhead smokes rock. Have faith in yourself. Don’t just expect things to happen in your favor; make them happen. For God’s sake, just get your shit together, dude.

You’re all older and presumably wiser than I.  Any advice would help.

Birf-Day Shenanaginz

Ally totally stole my thunder. But that’s fine. No, really. I’m really OK with it. I’m not bitter.    :)

Here’s the deal: Next month I turn 30. I hate it. It’s awful, really. But I’m burying my 20′s in the desert, in high style, albeit a month early. Sara and I, and a few other couples, have rented a big ol’ house in Palm Springs for the weekend. (Yes, this weekend) It’s got a pool, spa, swim-up bar, and A LAZY RIVER.  Yes.  A Lazy. Frickin’. River.  Totally insane. Pool table, putting greens, basketball court, and more. It’s like adult Disneyland in the desert.

The party is this Saturday, the 22nd. If you’re a reader of this blog, and I’ve shared at least one beer with you in my twenties, you’re invited. If you qualify, chances are you know how to get ahold of me for directions/address. (This is to ward off Mike’s APU students looking for free booze. Damn freeloaders!)

So, get your asses to Palm Springs this Saturday. Blow off the Sunday morning church gigs. Drop the newborns off at the neighbors.  Whatever. Food and drink (lots ‘o drink) are provided. If you’re planning on staying the night, you’ll need a hotel, as the owner of the house has strict rules on occupancy. But the Travelodge is down the street, and cheap.  Here are some photos of the house, to get you all excited.

The Ride Cymbal : A Rant

So, you’re a worship drummer, let’s say.  You’re rokken like Stryper with your bible hangin’ out of your khakis, if you know what I mean.  You’re there in that drummer crouch, working that hi-hat and snare.  Your food is a lead anvil, saying here’s the pocket, boys, come and get it.  The band’s together, the people are gathered and singing, and all is well.

And then it happens:  you get bored.  You think to yourself, “Self, this last chorus needs a shot in the arm.  Hang on boys, ’cause daddy’s gonna pivot right.”

I watch you go for it, your spine goes straight and you make your reach.  Away goes the tight, focused snare, and the well-placed, fat kick, and away goes the musically appropriate hi-hat subdivision and in it’s place we, your aural captives, hear this:

CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!! CLANG!!!!

The snare starts to meander!  The kick rushes and sometimes just isn’t there at all!  The rhythm guitar players begin to dig harder, searching for the pulse, having vague memories of where it went.  The bass player starts to stomp his right foot on the ground in a physical reaction to groove dissapation.  The worship leader’s face begins to constrict, brow furrowed, eyes squinty.

Amateur drummers of the world:  the ride cymbal is not your friend.  She is a siren.  She is a temptress who leads you astray.  She’s a heartless mistress who hates all things groovy.  Shun her.  Shuuuuuuuuun!

Hooty McDeal

Woot is a website that sells one thing each day, until it sells out, or until it expires after a 24 hour period. Typically, they sell electronics, computery parts, or gadget-type stuff. They’re super awesome people. They also have a site called Wine Woot, where, predictably, one can buy quartets of old liquid grapes for substantial savings. (My girlfriend is the wine drinker, and she spends 35% of her annual income at Wine Woot. She’s like a choca-holic, but for booze. ) So…

If you’re one of the 4 people on this planet that doesn’t own an iPod, today is your lucky day. Today’s Woot is a 20 Gigabyte Apple iPod. You know, the 3rd generation White one that doesn’t do anything more than play music, and the occasional game of Parachute. (Lame)

It’s $99.00. It’s refurbished. Shipping is $5.00. Get ‘em quick. Good stuff on Woot doesn’t last long!

PS – if you become horribly addicted to Woot, please don’t blame me. PPS – the site refreshes with a new product at 10PM Pacific Time, every day.

Banal Minutia

In my ongoing effort to contribute nothing more to this blog than slightly psychotic rants about themeparks, heavily-biased music reviews, and photos of midgets, I give you…


My new car. A 2003 Ford Focus SVT. (SVT means Special Vehicle Team. Yes, I am now a superhero. Basically, it means the car goes like stink) The Scion XB was only a year old. But it was so slow it felt like it was tied to a post. And the doors felt like they were going to cave in when I closed them. Anyway, 180 horsepower, 6-speed Getrag transmission, and scapel-like handling are all good for the soul. Hazaah!

Good Vibes Welcomed

I’m doing my once-yearly (annual? anal?) checking-in on the blog to beg for good karma. Tonight at 11:15pm I’ve got a big audition. This is the one that could make me as huge as I think I already am. It’s the ground floor of a Brooklyn-based band called Outernational. Google it if ya want.

I never read this site (not out of hatred or disrespeck, but simply because I can rarely work a computer if it doesn’t involve a point-and-click link to a poker site) so what I’m posting probably counts as worthless spam. But I allow myself this Smoked Processed indulgence because I know a lot of the folks who do read this, and some of you are nice enough to consider me a friend in some regard. Therefore, I eagerly ask your thoughts/prayers/good karma tonight if you think about it. I cancelled a $400 fly date on 6-hour’s notice to do the audition, and those of you who know how deep my love affair with money is realize that’s a pretty big thing for me.

Disclaimers:

1. Auditioning for this gig does not mean I’m looking to quit your band, if I’m currently in your band. It just means I’m tired of churches and Bar-Mitzvahs, and I want a Grammy, dammit!

2. If I get the gig, I’m not necessarily moving to New York right away. I hate New York. Especially on my dime.

3. If you don’t hear about this gig from me within the next 3 days or so, it means I didn’t get it and I’m probably pissed off about that. You can still ask out of caring friendship, but I might not be very gracious or appreciate your concern. I love you, I really do, but I’m a d%&k.

If anyone still decides to throw some love my way, it is GREATLY appreciated!

Blogging is Easier When You Know Everything

Yes, easier indeed. And… I would wager… more interesting. No one likes wishy-washy bloggers.
Even before Mike posted his most humorous (and accurate) list of why we’re not blogging, the question has been ruminating in my mind for weeks now: why aren’t you (Chad) writing?

I poured out my soul for eight straight days and then… nothing. Well… a little thing here and there, but nothing of significance. In the past, I’ve waited for things to strike me that I wanted to share.

I think about movies a lot, so some of my most well-recieved posts have been about movies.

I think about the church a lot, so some of my most aggravating posts have been about the church.

I am a dad, so a lot of my posts have been about raising young children.

Sometimes, weird shit just happens to me, and I have to tell you all about it.

But then July 1 rolled around, and I quit my job to become a full time rock star with my wife. Now, the clock’s ticking, and I don’t know anything about anything, and I kind of find myself thinking that if I get on this website and just start typing, a lot of mindless, naval-gazing drivel will start to come out, and now that you’re all potential fans, I just don’t think that’s a very good idea.

Or maybe it just doesn’t matter.

Or maybe it does.

This was a lot easier when I knew everything about everything.

When you’re stuck and discontented, it’s much easier. We all know how to do stuck and discontented, don’t we? Even better if there’s a boogeyman to snipe at, and in the church, there are always boogeymen aplenty. The reason I’m unhappy is: (insert elder-related issue here). Rant rant rant, make funny, sleep. Repeat.

But now I’m out in the great wide open, under them skies of blue, and seriously… I am totally clueless. I mean… it’s been a perfectly good first month. I’ve gotten the studio organized, I’ve got ideas for new songs and preliminary sketches going, we did a couple of gigs, and I have more on the hook, trying to reel them in, we have a good idea of what the next 6-9 months need to look like… it’s just… there’s no actual roadmap. Oh, and if I don’t supply the go-juice, it’s a no-go. None.

Normally at this time of year, I am getting ready to start hating Christmas. Do I have to like Christmas again?

My angst and frustration about The Church (and when I talk about church, allow me, again, my ABFfers, to mention that I’m spelling with a capital T & C) has sort of settled into vague indifference.

Vague indifference has not been part of my lexicon. Maybe I am ready to be a rock star.

Actually, just sitting here typing this has been theraputic, like reconnecting with an old friend. Maybe I do know everything after all. Maybe I never knew anything to begin with and I have to work out all my demons on the interwebs, in front of all of you.

Ok, here’s some old school Chad for you:

To Gore Verbinski and Sam Raimi and every other film director in Hollywood: The Bourne Ultimatum kicked the unholy stuffing out of every other wanna-be action spectacular this year, (except for maybe 300, which emerged with only minor abrasions.) Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, and Tony Gilroy are all geniuses, and the rest of you are idiots who’ve forgotten how to make action movies. Stop trying to remake Lord of the Rings. No one gives a shit if Jack Sparrow has a moral compass, we like him because he’s funny. You all suck and I hate you.

.

Dear elders: Andy is kicking ass as an interim worship leader. Stop trying to replace him. Give it six months and then start looking.

To my kids: I love you. I mean… I really love you. If you don’t start sleeping through the night again, daddy is going to lose his marbles.

Dear CCM: You still suck. I mean… the #2 song on iTunes was released SIX F***ING YEARS AGO! The song that follows that one is about Jabez! For the LOVE OF GOD, TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Aaaaah. I feel much better now.

Over 35

Happy 36th Birthday to Stick!…aka, my beloved husband, Brian.

36 things I like about Brian, in no particular order:

1. I like that even though you love golf with a passion just short of your passion for me, you don’t bring your clubs to bed.
2. I like that you are artistic but not tortured. No wait, I love that!
3. I like the brown birth mark in your blue eyes.
4. I like that you play the piano. Quite well.
5. I like that you’re here. With me. Living life.
6. I like that you laugh easily.
7. I like that you don’t expect me to keep the house perfectly clean at all times.
8. I like the way you unconsciously hum when you’re having a good time.
9. I like the sound of your voice.
10. I like your aptitude at things that shall not be spoken of out loud…wink, nudge, wink, nudge, wink wink wink!
11. I like that now most people are either rolling their eyes or switching to another site.
12. I like that you’re kind.
13. I like that you get enthused about small things in life. (egg salad, a friend’s new iphone…)
14. I like that you (mostly) put your clothes away and don’t leave them on the floor. If you did, it would be a real problem…mine take up all the room we have.
15. I like that you don’t catch the first flight out of town when I say things like “I’m soooo done with everything!” and “See my new shoes?”
16. I like that you are and are not the same person you were when I met you (14 years ago)
17. I like that you are cool but not bent on it.
18. I like it WHEN you put your cereal bowl in the sink, not on the counter. (I feel something other than liking when you don’t.)
19. I like that you cried when Zaney was born.
20. I like that you didn’t cry (at least in front of me) when I was in the ICU.
21. I like that you scoffed a bit when I suggested you could get remarried when there was some question of my continuing to be here. (But really, you can!)
22. I like that you take pictures of flowers for me.
23. I like that you are fine. at any given moment, you are, more often than not, fine.
24. I like that you don’t ogle other women.
25. I like that you haven’t bought an iphone. yet.
26. I like that you are practical and reasonable and loving…ie: you’re still driving your totally crappy grandma car. Private school tuition trumps dad’s desire for a nice car. You rock Daddy-O!
27. I like your big ol’ hands.
28. I like that you are only 36 cuz’ I’m dyin’ here…
29. I like that you are not easily swayed.
30. I like how your eyes squinch up when you are trying to not smile really big…but then you never can stop yourself and your whole face squinches and smiles.
31. I like that my quirky ways don’t throw you.
32. I like how you play outside with the boys.
33. I like that you are good at building stuff.
34. I like that if someone provokes you, it doesn’t usually actually provoke you.
35. I like that you’re ok with no grand gestures on your birthday.
36. I love you!…for all your years to come.