It’s one more random than 10!
Something happened today that hasn’t happened to me before, a convergence of things that made me quite happy.
--The Lovely Becky didn’t have to go to campus today, so we decided to have a lunch date. We picked sushi because it was one of the things we missed terribly in the UP and we haven’t had any in a long time.
--There are a number sushi places nearby, so I decided to go to Yelp for help. I have never used Yelp before, because the only thing that yelps in the UP is an animal after you’ve shot it.
--Yelp pointed us to a place we would have overlooked, a small, non-descript sushi joint at the end of our block. There was the usual Yelp nonsense, the one sniffy guy who was all, “the rolls are okay but I don’t think the nigiri is that great because I’m an insufferable munchwagon” (I’m paraphrasing). But everybody else had pretty strong praise.
--We walked up the street, ordered, took a bite, and were immediately in OMG SO GOOD 5-STARS heaven.
Walking back to the house, I literally felt filled with the spirit of Kathleen and Pinko. Using the Internet to find good sushi and then getting there in a pedestrian fashion. The only thing missing was a red track suit and a list of three novels I read on the walk to the restaurant.
1) “I’m Looking Through You,” The Beatles. I don’t know if this was ever used for a Wonder Years montage, but it feels like it should have.
2) “Station,” The Meat Puppets. I suspect ZRM will have a good Meat Puppets story in the comments. I never really listened to them much beyond their semi-hit “Backwater,” but the sound of this just takes me back to college, drinking on a Friday afternoon to prepare for more drinking on a Friday night. In fact, my alma mater has a campus-run pub on its grounds. That seems like a terrible idea to me now, even though it was awesome then. I worked at the campus bookstore, and on Fridays I would head over to the pub with my buddy Moe and start our consumption ritual—a couple of pitchers each to “warm up” for the evening. We didn’t even bother with glasses, Moe and I would just order two pitchers and drink straight from those. Then we’d go to another place that had a drink special, five drinks for the price of one. The catch was you could only order two drinks per person and the special lasted one hour. We would guzzle through those so we could get that fifth drink before the hour was up. I thought it was the greatest way to stretch my meager bookstore wages/Stafford student loan dollars. Stupid sexy drinking, why do you have to be so attractive?
3) “Jackson (Live),” Johnny Cash and June Carter. It takes a lot of balls for a woman like June Carter to sing in front of a bunch of prison inmates.
4) “Song 2,” Blur. I’ve heard it a million times and each time it makes me want to charge onto a football field and tackle someone. Like get a full head of steam and launch headfirst into them, James-Harrison style. Or, in my more continental moments, run onto the pitch and tackle someone soccer-style, perhaps giving one of those Italians or Spaniards who always do the phantom flops something to really writhe in agony about. This also gives me an idea how to fix the flopping in soccer: if a player flops, the player he flopped against gets a free kick at him. You're welcome, FIFA.
5) “About a Girl,” Nirvana. Speaking of suicides, the new New Yorker has a David Foster Wallace story in it, and the bio mentioned that DFW has a new novel coming out. He committed suicide in 2008, around the time I started working on my novel. My novel is not only coming out and in fact I realized recently that it needs some very substantial rewriting and that I need to rethink a lot of it. There’s nothing wrong with that, because writing takes time. However, I can’t help but feel rather sheepish about being outpaced by a a dead guy (albeit a very talented one).
6) “Wicked Gil,” Band of Horses. Gil just isn’t a wicked guy’s name. Darth Gil, Gildemort, Gil Lecter, The Great and Powerful Gil. Even Tim is more menacing.
7) “Straight to Hell,” The Clash. Probably the saddest Clash song and also one of their best.
8) “The Humpty Dance,” Digital Underground. Awww, hells yeah! I’m heading to Vegas at the end of April for my cousin Youngblood’s bachelor party. Dr. Hawkeye is attending, and nothing will transform him to 100% Hawkeye status like this song. Sadly, Dr. Trapper has to go to a competing bachelor party that weekend. So many IVs, so little time.
9) “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen. I’m not a big Boss fan. I recognize his brilliance and all that, but I hit my musical stride right around the time Born in the USA become Overplayed in the USA and I never quite recovered from the media tongue-bathing he received during that time. “Born to Run,” however, is one of the all-time great rock songs. It’s personal, it’s epic, it’s hard, it’s gentle…you can listen to it 100 times and pull out a different nuance. I’m always happy to hear it.
10) “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere,” The Who. I bought Rock Band 3 recently, which, combined with having my own house again, reignited my love of toy drumming. I moved Branimal up to the expert drum level, surprisingly holding my own on a fair number of tracks. Fills still give me trouble, but if I Meg White it I tend to do okay. However, The Who Pack I purchased has always been my Moby Dick (not to be confused with Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick”). I mean, look at this fucking thing. I can last about 10 seconds on that (TLB, please feel free to insert joke here). The other day I was playing a random set list and it threw me a Who track, “Sea and Sand” from Quadrophenia. I got about 60% of the way through before I failed. I swore to myself that I could beat it and started over. That attempt fell over and sank into the swamp. I started again. That attempt burned down, fell over and sank into the swamp. But on my fourth try, I felt possessed with speed-addled, Mod-drumming, Moon-the-Loon goodness. My right foot pumped the bass peddle, my hands surprisingly made sense out of the insanity of the chart, and while I reached the end a little bruised and bloodied, I finished the song…just as TLB came down the stairs. With complete seriousness, I threw my drumstick-gripping hands into the air and yelled, “KEITH MOON, BABY!” I’m sure there are few times in my life that my wife wanted me less.
11) “Ruby Soho,” Rancid. One of the best bands to end a Random 11 with.
Have a fantastic, five-star review weekend.