Saturday, February 19, 2011

Grown-up Reckless Abandon

Camp Go-Go has been buzzing with rumors of a Summer tour and this got me thinking back a few years, to when The G0-Go's released their last CD. The band was sent out on an insane promotional tour, taking them all over the United States and throwing in a stop in Turkey for good measure. One day they would be in Los Angeles, the next NYC, then Florida, then St. Louis. Not so fun for them, but lots of fun for fans. This one included.

Picture it - May 2001. I'm doing my payroll thing at work, having been on the job 8 months. I was pretty well settled into my routine, I had some PTO time built up and I could schedule a day off here and there if I wanted. I don't recall if it was a phone call or an email, but Vahona, my partner in mayhem contacted me. It went something like this:

V -"Hey - The Go-Go's are doing that show in St. Louis on the 30th. It's a Wednesday but I figure if we leave work at noon, it's a 6 hour drive but we can probably make it in under 6. They'll probably go on at 8, be done by 9:30. We see the show, drive back, sleep a few hours then go into work the next day. What do you say? do you want to do it?"

J - "That's insane!"

V - "I know."

J - "Let's do it!!"

V - "YAY!"

Minor problem. It's payroll processing. I process payroll every other Wednesday and Thursday. Tasks need to be done on Wednesday before Noon, then Thursday morning. After some thought, I decide I can do it. After all, we're leaving Wednesday afternoon and we'll be back Thursday. I just have to make sure I get to work by 9. Easy!

On the 30th, payroll processing tasks were completed without any problems. I packed up my desk at 11:45 and was out the door by noon. I packed a bag of snacks and a cooler of cold beverages and loaded the CD player with lots of discs. I picked up Vahona and our friend Faith downtown and we hit the road in my pretty little Jetta. Off we went, on our crazy little adventure.

The drive was completely uneventful. We talked and laughed and shared stories and zipped down I-55 and made it in record time. We found the venue with no effort what so ever. I can't even tell you the name of the venue or the type of neighborhood it was in, all I can say is that we found street parking and then found a bunch of our friends in a restaurant which I believe was attached to the venue. There had to be 15 of us around the table. Why St. Louis was the meeting place, I don't know. Rusty and Rick from West Virginia, Heather from Las Vegas (or maybe at the time she was in CA), and others who had traveled a long distance for this show. We had time to laugh and chat and hang out before the show.

Doors opened and we rushed to the front of the stage. The equipment on stage didn't look familiar. That meant only one thing...opening act! CRAP! We didn't have time for an opening act!! There was nothing we could do about it. They started to play at 8, they finished at 8:45. The Go-Go's didn't go on until 9:30. UGH!

The show was excellent, despite Jane not feeling well. She saw us there and smiled and waved. Belinda even came over by us and appreciated seeing some familiar faces in the crowd and she waved. Kathy, always cool and polite hopped over and greeted us as well. They had fun and we had fun. The show ended and we spend a few more minutes talking with our friends before deciding it was time to hit the road and begin our journey back to Chicago. The time was now 11:15. And we had to stop for gas.

Faith took the back seat. She decided to sleep so that if I needed someone to drive, she would take over. Vahona's job was to navigate and keep me awake and entertained. Not a problem, she and I could have fun at a funeral. We played games on the ride home. One was "Hot Air Balloon of Love" where, starting with the letter A, we had to recide the names of celebrities who were all riding together in the hot air balloon of love. Each person takes a turn, and adds a name to the list. We played a couple rounds of that game, then started on a similar game naming movies. Vahona and I were going back and forth with names when out of nowhere (well actually the back seat), Faith just blurts out "Blackula!" We laughed for about 5 minutes. Then it started to rain and instead of driving 70 mph, we were driving 50 mph.

Somewhere, about 50 miles from the city, at about 4 am, the road we were on was closed. There was bridge work being done and supplies and equipment were being brought to the site. We sat there for about 30 minutes, waiting. I was tired, I had to pee and I was panicked about payroll. When the road finally opened, we proceeded and got Faith home safely. Vahona asked me if I wanted her to drive, I decided to just go the rest of the way.

Without incident, we returned back to the city. As I dropped her off, the sun was rising. It was 5:40 am. I got home at 5:45, walked in the door and got into bed. I slept until about 7:45, got up, showered and made it to work by 9. Surprisingly I was awake and alert the entire work day. Payroll was processed without incident and I had a fun story to tell my coworkers. All were shocked that I had spent more than 12 of the previous 24 hours driving.

After work, I even managed to go do laundry. The last thing I wanted to do was go to sleep after work, for fear of messing up my sleep pattern. Laundry was not without incident. Sadly, I left all of my socks in the dryer. I guess exhaustion was setting in.

When I think back to that adventure, it makes me smile. In a heartbeat, I would do it again.

As an adult, what adventures have you experienced that you would file under reckless abandon?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger

Honey Badger don't care. Honey badger don't give a shit. He just takes what he wants!


Reckless Abandon

Two weeks ago today Chicago was under a blanket of snow some 20+ inches deep. The days that followed were cold and grey and ugly. Then the warm up began. Since Sunday each day has been a little warmer and the snow has been melting. A welcomed sight. This afternoon as I was driving home from work I saw two kids running, their coats were open and they were running into a Walgreens. They ran right at the bars that keep the shopping carts from leaving the front of the store and instead of going around them, they grabbed them and threw themselves over them, twisting around, landing their feet and laughing. No fear, no hesitation. It got me thinking about being young and having all that energy and some reckless abandon.

I recall episodes of reckless abandon. Not to say that some kids live their life in a constant state of it, though I guess it seems that some do. Those are the kids at the next table at the restaurant who you wish were duct taped to their chairs. As a kid, I can remember days at the playground, swinging on the swings as high as I could, or playing on the roller coaster slide (a tall metal slide that consisted of a long row of bars that spun as you rode down it, creating a really quick trip down. These days you wouldn't see one of those slides, they would be deemed too dangerous. I probably wasn't the most daring kid, thanks to my overprotective parents. I never had a bicycle but managed to teach myself to ride a neighbor's bike. I doubt I could do it today if I tried. I never learned to swim, in fact I have a fear of deep water thanks to an unsuccessful bout of reckless abandon. I was running on the steps of my grandmother's pool and I fell in and went right to the bottom of the pool. I think my uncle pulled me out. From that point forward I never had any desire to go into the pool.

Do adults lose their sense of reckless abandon, or do we just temper it? Maybe it's just a different form of it. You don't often see adults climbing a fence (unless you're watching "Cops") or playing on the swings at the park (unless they're with their kids). Maybe our brand of reckless abandon is calling in sick, or skipping a meeting, or ordering in dinner when there's food in the house but you just don't feel like cooking. Maybe it's asking someone out after meeting them online. Perhaps it's buying that new sweater at full price even though you know it will go on sale in a couple of weeks. These are the things that we deem exciting and make life fun.

Have you practiced a bit of reckless abandon lately?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's That Time of Year

My least favorite Hallmark Holiday is here. Tomorrow is Valentine's day. And I did just check my blog, the three previous years I posted a similar sentiment. I HATE Valentine's Day.

I have for a long time. Only 1 year in as long as I can remember was I with someone on Valentine's Day. 2002, I was dating a nice guy name John. He bought me a box of chocolates and we went to dinner. I forgot what I gave him. Well, I remember part of what I gave him but I'll let you figure that one out.

Perhaps the bitter is dialed up a notch this year. Chances are I'd be less vocal about the day if I were in a relationship. However, I am not so let the bitter begin!

Tomorrow's attire for work will consist of black slacks, a black and white striped shirt and a black tie with a small skull and crossbones pattern on it. I think it conveys my feelings in a subtle and elegant way.

I've even put together a playlist that I will listen to. Rather than let my iTunes library do it's thing and play songs that speak of love and romance (there's a lot of that in my music collection, believe it or not), tomorrow's playlist is all songs that speak of heartbreak, being alone or celebrating ones' independence.

Here are some of the songs on my list. I won't list all 4 dozen that I have selected.

"Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts" - Brandon Flowers
"Here's Where the Story Ends" - The Sundays
"Why Does it Always Rain on Me?" - Travis
"These Boots Are Made For Walking" - Nancy Sinatra
"Fuck the Pain Away" - Peaches
"Rolling in the Deep" - Adele (her new single...have you heard it? Amazing!!)
"Valentine" - Belinda Carlisle (Valentine/I know you're not mine/You're somebody else's flame/But when those hearts and flowers fade/Oh my darling, look my way.)
"Someone Else Not Me" - Duran Duran
"Forget You" - Glee Cast w/ Gwenyth Paltrow (I love this cleaned up version of the song)
"Unforgiven" - The G0-Go's
"Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri Las
"Fading Fast" - The Go-Go's
"Blue Period" - The Smithereens

You get the jist of it.

I want to add a disclaimer here. I'm not sad, not angry at anybody and not depressed. I actually have fun hating Valentine's Day. As long as I'm single on this day and am forced to face endless TV and radio commercials and print ads about things to do or gifts to buy on Valentine's Day, I'm going to be bitter about the day. Maybe next year I won't feel so hateful about the day.

Cupid, bite my ass!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


My name is Jim and I am an addict.

I'm hooked on Breathe Right Strips.

I got a coupon for a free box. I redeemed the coupon about a month ago and the box has been sitting on my dresser. The other night, on a whim, I decided to try one.

Wow. I can breathe.

Okay, I sound like a commercial but seriously, these things do just as they say. YAY!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard 2011 - Tsnownami!

Right now we're having a blizzard. It's going to be a mess once it's all over but right now it's kind of amusing. Major thoroughfares are shut down, both of our airports are closed. Wind gusts are at about 60mph. the prediction right now is anywhere from 16 - 24 inches of snow. My office closed early today, and we're closed tomorrow. Well I shouldn't say "we." I work in a hospital and it's not closed, however I was told I didn't need to be there. I would have gone, I was going to walk to work.

Right now I've got the heat on high, hoping to get the house warm enough that if we lose electricity it'll stay warm for a while. I've also got a lot of blankets down from storage. That part of the storm is not so amusing.