Archive: September, 2002

Fall Friday nights at Cedar Point

posted by Jeff | Friday, September 27, 2002, 11:54 AM | comments: 0

Halloweekends have started at Cedar Point. This is easily my favorite time of year to visit the park. CP is kind of like my summer place, and not just because of GTTP. It's where my friends often hang.

There's something about the leaves changing colors, the jacket weather, girls in flanels (which is somehow almost as hot as bare midriffs) and the now-traditional closing weekend stay at the park. Now that the season is a couple weeks longer, closing weekend also falls on our anniversary.

Last weekend was the first one, and it rained like hell. I was able to sneak in a ride on Raptor just before I left, but the weather was miserable. I did get to see the extent of the construction, however, for the new rocket coaster they're building next year. Pretty huge area.

So tonight we go back to get more of that atmosphere. We've only missed two or three Friday's in the last few years, all due to weather. This year we're determined to get all six weeks, and enjoy our fill of fog-filled midways and the smell of nuts.

These are the good times that make it a little easier to take the bad.

Supreme Beings of Leisure set my groove again

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, September 17, 2002, 1:06 PM | comments: 0

You probably haven't heard of them, but Supreme Beings of Leisure should be on the cover of the next CD you purchase.

About two years ago they came out with their first album. I found it at a listening station in a Border's. It was next to some techno and trip-hoppy stuff, so I gave it a listen. It didn't outright grab me at first, but it had elements of a lot of stuff I liked, so I bought it.

That CD is still in my car. It's this great mix of groovy, sexy and danceable stuff. Hard to categorize them, other than music that makes you feel good. So finally, Divine Operating System (DOS) came out last week. Best Buy didn't have the CD (fuckers), but sure enough, Border's did have it again. Heck, they had it on a front rack in quantity. Either they're paying for position or somebody really believes in this album.

The same thing applies here, it doesn't grab you the first time through. Then, after you've listened to it a few times, you hear all of the subtlties and layers and you're drawn into it.

The sounds vary by track. "Give Up" has a disco touch while "Catch Me" is this beautifully orchestrated piece. "Get Away" makes you wanna shake your ass. "Rock and a Hard Place" and "Calamity Jane" have this sexy chill sound. The only track I really dislike is "Divine," which is just too 70's for me. It doesn't fit in the context of the rest of the album.

So if you're looking for something that relaxes you and makes you feel good, give the Supreme Beings of Leisure a try. You won't be disappointed.

Arena rock isn't dead, we just had to remember the good stuff

posted by Jeff | Friday, September 13, 2002, 12:43 PM | comments: 0

My dear friend Jen is obsessed with Kid Rock and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. Don't know why, but whatever. Her new husband didn't want to go to the show, Aerosmith, Kid Rock and Run-DMC, so she recruited me to be her "date." I've seen the old guys before and I'm a quasi-fan of Kid Rock (not to mention I loved Run-DMC in junior high), so I was up for it.

She got 15th row tickets from a broker, and that was a serious hook up. I'd say we were not more than 20 yards from the stage at Blossom Music Center, between Cleveland and Akron.

The show time on the ticket was 7 p.m., and seeing as how no show I've ever been to actually started at the indicated time, we didn't hurry getting there. Well, wouldn't you know it, they apparently started on time. As we were walking (from the grass lots) to the venue, Kid Rock started performing. By the time we got inside, he had already done two or three songs. In the process, we missed Run-DMC entirely. I was kind of pissed about that.

Anyway, the K-I-D had pole dancers, a huge American flag and his name in lights. The dude was intense, and had a very capable band. He took some time to do some "trailer trash" rock covers before breaking into his finale. The dude is the real thing, and it's obvious that he loves what he's doing.

Funny thing is, I ran into the guy twice toward the end of the 1999 season at Cedar Point, I believe it was. Stephanie and I had lunch at TGI Friday's in the Breakers hotel and he was at the next table. At the time, I didn't think much of him, and theorized that he might just fade into obscurity. A few weeks later, I saw him again, and actually rode Iron Dragon in the same train with him. He had done the MTV Movie Awards about a week before, and at that point I figured he was going places. Indeed he has.

Aerosmith I got to see in 1993 ("Get a Grip"), when a bunch of seats opened up near the stage the day of the show. Nothing else to do that summer at school, a friend and I went. Good show, so I expected the same.

They didn't disappoint. It's funny too because all of the cheesy rock star shit they do isn't really that cheesy, seeing as how they invented it in the first palce. They had a "B" stage out near the lawn where they did four or five songs after being moved there by an army of security. Kind of neat for the people in the cheap seats (or should I say grass).

The last encore was exactly what I think everyone was hoping for... Walk This Way with Run-DMC and Kid Rock on stage. It was the kind of rock-n-roll moment you generally only see on TV award shows. The crowd went absolutely nuts.

Jen had a good time too, and I'm glad she got to see "her" men up close.

What and odd series of concerts I've been to this year... Garbage, KMFDM, Jewel and now this one. Variety is the spice of life I suppose!

Processing the dark anniversary of 9/11

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 11, 2002, 1:21 PM | comments: 0

The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US has finally come, and it's hard to organize my thoughts about how I feel about it. September 11 was, without question, one of the scariest days I've had, but in a very removed way.

I've had breakdowns in light of a job going all wrong, and cried at the thought of my brother dying in the hospital of a drug overdose. While those were tough days for me, 9/11 was tough as well, in a totally different way. Trying to get a handle on what that day means for me is what's difficult.

First we have extensive media coverage. That is pretty much to be expected. I don't need a recount of what happened that day. We all remember that. What I need is the stories of the people who were most involved in the tragedy. Thus far, I've been impressed with the coverage on ABC, as that's what they've been doing, telling stories. I'm interested in the stories, because they fill in the blanks of a disaster that is otherwise just the destruction of a building.

Days like this are most centered on remembering the people and all that went on that day. It's good to be partiotic and have faith in what people, our people, are capable of in extraordinary times. But tomorrow we must ask ourselves why it happened, and take a brutally honest look at our government's foreign policy and our role in the world.

In asking those questions, we need to look beyond the right and wrong aspect of the attacks. Of course they were wrong... no one is justifying what the terrorists did. We need to ask what would drive people to hate our country so much that they would do that. The "because they hated our freedom" isn't the answer. There are deeper answers to consider.

I know that one of my personal frustrations is that we're a little too selective about what we get involved with. We went to Kuait in a heartbeat when it was invaded, but when Yugoslavia was killing itself we did little to stop it. Getting involved with both conflicts was the right thing to do, but we didn't. The implications on national infrastructure, economy and such were great in the Gulf War, but not in Eastern Europe. We were one of few nations with the ability to do something about Yugoslavia, but didn't because it had little effect on us. We were a sideline player.

Now we want a "regime change" in Iraq. There's no question the US can do that, but is it right? So far the only reason we've heard is that "Saddam will eventually have weapons of mass destruction." Will he? Probably. Is it right for us to start bombing a country without the proof? That isn't clear. Certainly our allies say "no."

There will always be radicals who feed on terror. It's not even fair to call them human beings. But looking beyond that, it's time our elected officials decide what exactly our role is in the global village. We have to be good neighbours. We need to find the balance between upholding our values and ideology and doing the right thing in the context of our world. We don't need everyone to like us, but let's make sure we don't inadvertantly give people reasons to hate us.

That, in my opinion, is how our country moves forward. For now, let's tell the stories of the people we loved, lost and immortalize in our minds as a part of that tragic day.

Double standards for death in Medina County

posted by Jeff | Sunday, September 8, 2002, 9:33 PM | comments: 2

I was more than a little irritated this week when a grand jury decided not to indict a Medina man for the death of his son after leaving the kid to die in a hot car. Perhaps more irritating is the fact that I saw the Medina County Prosecutor, Dean Holman, get on TV and say that the grand jury made the right decision as he didn't think there was much of a case for prosecution.

Anywhere else in the world I don't think I'd care, but here it illustrates a giant double standard. This is the same prosecutor who relentlessly went after Audrey Iacona, a teenager who did major jail time after being convicted for involuntary manslaughter when she gave birth to a child that may or may not have been still born. At the time, she knew she was pregnant but wasn't showing. Even though there was no proof that the baby was born alive and it wasn't a miscarriage, she got eight years. The sentance was later over turned but she still did one year.

This guy who left his baby in the car for two hours didn't have that question. His son was most certainly a living breathing human, and Holman says it would be a hard case to prosecute? Is this guy a fucking crack baby?

But that's the way things go in Medina. A teenager makes a stupid mistake and gets pregnant, gives birth (or miscarries) to a dead kid, and everyone wants to lock her up. A so-called responsible adult leaves his kid to die in a hot car and it's OK. Audrey is an example of "not in my town" while this asshole just had an unfortunate accident. What a fucking joke.

Holman should be voted out of office for being a moron.