So far, it’s been a successful holiday weekend. I worked on Black Friday, and am taking Monday off instead. It was weird working on Friday. There were only a couple of us there on my floor for most of the day. By leaving time, I was the only one left. It was like I was a marble, rolling around an empty boxcar. In fact, all of downtown was a ghost town, which is a huge improvement, in my book.
I went to my brother’s house for the Thanksgiving feast and had a wonderful time. But even better was getting to come back on Friday night and baby-sit. My brother and his wife were going to dinner and then to see Bob Seger, (who still rocks, according to Bluz Brother).
So I packed a bag and went directly from work. I had to pack a bag because the Penguins were playing and I had to be dressed in the appropriate game jersey for the occasion. Even “on the job,” I still have my mojo responsibilities.
Once we settled in, we had some time before the game started so we watched the AC/DC concert movie, “Let There Be Rock.” (I wrote about it a while back.) Because you can’t seem to buy a decent Blue Ray package anymore that doesn’t also include the DVD, I figured I’d give my DVD copy to my nephew. I made up some cover art, provided a jewel box and produced a nice little package for him. (I did the same with the latest Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean movies too. When are the movie studios going to realize that they might be able to gouge us out of an extra $5 for the bigger package, but they lose on a whole other sale? Because who really needs both movie versions to use for themselves?)
As I’ve mentioned before, my nephew Daniel (12) is an AC/DC freak now, so I felt I owed it to him to show him the band at their performing prime. It was cool. Sammy (6) was unimpressed though, and rolled over on the floor and had a nap.
I had to take Daniel to his basketball practice at 7:30, so we paused the game and ran the errand. When we got back, Sammy perched up on my lap and we watched the game together. I tell you, the kid is pretty observant for a 6-year old. He knew all the players and everything they’d done lately. It was some really nice Uncle/Nephew bonding time. We get very little time for the two of us because when Daniel is home, he tends to dominate the conversation.
We paused the game again to go pick up Daniel and them came back to watch the end. (Pens crushed Ottawa, 6-3, in a game that wasn’t really as close as the score indicates.)
Then, because my brother’s TV setup is different than mine and had a jillion different channels, we just scanned around to the other hockey games in progress. It was really just background noise though, because we mostly just yapped the rest of the night.
Daniel and I tend to get into very detailed music conversations. He tells me what he likes and then I tell him what I know about the artist. Sometimes we have to go to the YouTube to provide examples. God, what I wouldn’t have given for that kind of technology when I was a kid.
I’ve had this other idea kicking around in my head for a while now: a way to help guide Daniel in his musical journey… to steer him toward high-quality rock and roll, and away from the noise that passes for music today.
I pitched the idea to my brother first, that I could set the boy up with an email account, to which I would maintain access. (That way, I could monitor use and dump the inevitable inappropriate spam.) Once a week, I would email Daniel a song of choice, along with any relevant information. For example, I’d tell him why I like the song, what the cool parts of it are, what to listen for, and most importantly, seek his feedback on what HE thinks of it.
My brother told me not to bother setting up a separate email. He would just add an account onto his current email, for Daniel’s use. Fine by me… whatever works. I was just trying to minimize what anyone else would have to do.
I pitched the idea to Daniel on Friday and he was all over it. I don’t get to see the boys as often as I’d like, so I figured he was old enough now to take advantage of the tech we have available. (Yes, I know we could be doing Skype… one step at a time!) He’s into texting, too, so we traded cell numbers.
My goal is to teach the boy HOW to listen to music… how to seek out the bass line; how to appreciate a solid opening build; how to pick out the guitar riffs on multiple guitars; and mostly how to appreciate real people playing real instruments that do NOT include the abomination that is auto-tune.
I’ll let you know how it goes, once we get going and the email account is set up.
ESPN has been hyping the Ohio State/Michigan game as “The Game.” While I may be all “Pittsburgh” for pro sports, in college sports my family rolls with the Buckeyes. We lived in Columbus for 5 years, my mom taught and got her Masters there, and my brother graduated from there later. He and I saw our first college football games there, and it stuck. So the OSU/Michigan game has been a big deal for us since we were kids.
While I was at my brother’s place on Friday, it reminded me of a story, which I then told to the boys.
When I first moved to Baltimore and was staying with my brother and his wife, on the morning of the OSU/Michigan game I was awakened by the sound of the Ohio State Marching Band, aka The Best Damn Band in the Land. My brother was playing the CD on the house stereo.
When I cleared my head, I stumbled downstairs and saw my sister-in-law in the living room. I asked where my brother was.
She said that he was outside putting up the Buckeye flag. Then she added, “At least this year, he’s not running up and down the street with it.”
That was the funniest thing I ever heard her say. The “visual” just slayed me.
Alas, we lost the game yesterday, thus breaking a 7-game winning streak against That Team Up North. Oh well… 7 out of 8 ain’t bad. Yinz kin look it up.
The Mojo Boogie
The Steelers play the KC Chiefs tonight on Sunday Night Football, at Kansas City. For the Steelers to win the division they need to win out the rest of the season AND have the Ratbirds lose one, otherwise, it’s Wild Card City. So we need this one.
I decided to wear the same gear I wore the last time I watched at home while the Steelers were “away.” I could have gone with what I wore the last times they were on SNF, but the results were inconclusive. So for tonight:
White Polamalu jersey, gold-sleeved throwback tee, flannel Steelers jammy pants with the Hot Arizona Auntie-approved Steelers socks.
As I have the day off tomorrow, staying up late will not be an issue.