Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Cramps

As both of my loyal readers know one of my fave all time bands is "The Cramps" I grew up with this band during the 80's and my discovery of punk rock on the mighty album 88 up at Georgia State University.  Since it's a fave I don't listen top them too often because I just don't wanna wear them out but on occasion I get reminded of the bands awesomeness and I get into the groove of them once again.

SSK texted me yesterday and reminded me that she was listening to them and was thinking of me. Which lifted my spirits because I was working with BIL trying to fix not only Big Sis's brakes on her car but change the oil and fix the front brakes on my truck. The day ended with us taking Big Sis's van over to a mechanic to get the rear brakes fixed. Sorry off the subject there.

The Cramps.

I won't strike all nostalgic here and repeat many fun times I had listening to the band and the concerts I went to to see them. I'll let two things speak volumes the first is well a video of one of my favorite incarnations of The Cramps with Candy Del Mar in the line up. This is how I remember Lux at his finest stage mania and Ivy with awesome guitar and of course Candy Del Mar just grrrrr...wow! It's how I exactly remember Cramps shows. It's right at 7 min long, enjoy:

Another bit is a longish interview with a British magazine Cramps Interview . I urge you to take the time and read the interview and watch the video you'll be rewarded.

The question that might get asked is how in the hell does this music influence me today. One way is pure escapism. Listen to any of their songs and you can't help but get taken to another place. Often on many a trip to go riding the Voodoo I listened to The Cramps, the Voodoo MTB is an extension of my admiration for their music. To that degree so is my minor obsession with the whole Zombie's Run training program world. I still feel now after all these years that riding the old steel O.G. Voodoo Erzulie is a special occasion especially in the fall say around Octoberish.

So SSK thanks for mentioning The Cramps to me yesterday. If you ain't familiar with them then by all means make yerself so but know that Lux died awhile back so you missed what were the best years of live music ever to have existed.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Like the Jimmy Carter presidency. 

Lately I have had a bout of being unmotivated and just plain lazy concerning work in general and school projects. I won’t go into them here but it’s been pretty much “Why should I give a fuck when nothing I do matters.” I’ve suffered with this type of malaise before, it’s never productive. I’ve been fighting this for a few weeks now and a recent negative experience concerning school has not helped. I’m looking for a sign or some great piece of advice but I fear I may not find it. 

I have taken charge of my life and started running and riding again. I started back on the Zombie’s Run! 5K program again. I am covering the same ground with the program I did a few months ago but now I have time to actually not feel the crush of school work rushing me through the run.  There are 3 running workouts a week, when I stopped a few months ago I had finished through week 5.1 and was primed to do work out 5.2. That’s week five workout two. Well my anal retentive obsession with school took over and I made myself busy with class. 

Anyways that was then this is now. I am now at ZR5K 2.3, it’s a hoot even though it’s all repeats for me up until 5.2 but worth it as far as I am concerned. I’m determined to finish this running program before the summer. It’s not pretty when I run but at least I’m out there slugging it out the warthog that I am, trust me I am far from the ‘hakuna matata’ disney horseshit. I got plenty o’ worries trust me.  

I have also climbed back onto the road bike via the trainer or as I call it the “pain train” I’m doing that twice a week, it too is an 8 week program that just fuckin’ HURTS. Its interval training that can last well over an hour. That program I swear by, I have been through this dvd trainer program all the way a couple of times. By the time I finish it I am a cycling BEAST. BIL and youngest nephew tried to bust my balls over not riding outside during the warm months. I told them simply that this program is more concentrated than just tooling around outside on the bike.  I’m starting to get results my legs are feeling stronger. 

I’m only 2-3 weeks into both programs, physically I feel better. Since I have free time I have done some research on other programs and got interested in the Go Ruck programs. What I gather it’s a day long episode of getting worked to TMF (total muscle failure) by ex-military types. If you’ve ever watched “Surviving the Cut” then you have a pretty clear picture of what I’m talking about at least in the physical training aspect which from what I have seen and read is mostly what the Go Ruck courses are about. I’m interested but I’m not chomping at the bit to do this well over day long torture fest. Until I decide what I’m gonna do about school after fall ’13 semester I’m not going to commit to such a thing.

I’d probably wanna and would do it solo. I have learned recently that I cannot rely on anyone around here to join me on any kind of adventures. Whether that be doing the warrior dash, going to grab a beer after work or going to a park in the A-T-L for a festival.  So I’ll do all this shit on my own from now on. I thought if I showed some folks some kindness and consideration that I would get that in return. Instead I get flakiness and folks being rather stand offish. Not that I am going to pay money for anything now until I decide on nursing school. Once I commit fully to nursing school paying to do anything besides school during the semester is out.  I learned that lesson with warrior dash this year. I get flakiness from not only the couple of work friends (that’s right two) I have left but old neighborhood friends and the ex-girlfriend who I made an effort to patch things up with, so much for all those hassles with those folks, I’m slogging on.

 I take comfort in this:

I’m on my own down here in rural Georgia but with that come certain advantages. One is that Older Sis has a small amount of land that I can just run on and find new ways to torture myself with, creek runs and draining the stagnant unused pool with a bucket come to mind. I also have access to a lot of places where there ain’t many people around and lots of country dirt and gravel road which means eventually gravel grinders on the red surly cross check. They are not up my ass about anything and I am thankful for that at least I get some peace in my life unlike whenever I spend any time at Mom’s place. I don’t feel like being even more depressed so I’ll only scratch the surface here.

That will change soon for about a month starting in July despite my better judgment, I’ll be spending weekends at my mom’s place so I can do weekend shifts at BCH. I’d like to do one big camping trip up to Asheville before the semester begins. In order to have money for that I’m going to be working every Saturday and Sunday in July and the first weekend in August. It’s just under 300 miles to Asheville and a very doable trip. I figure I’m getting into some semblance of shape so I should have a goal, MTB trip to Asheville seems appropriate. Being negative and selfish here, I half expect something to come up to fuck up my training and derail plans to Asheville. 

This is the first time in over a year I have had time to myself without someone pulling on my sleeve for something. I have found I am protective of this time I have. Nothing I do for or with anyone else matters a damn so I have relearned as of late so I might as well concentrate on me at least I’ll appreciate the effort. I hope to be able to finish my 8 weeks programs; I hope July and early August don’t drive me bonkers, I hope to go forward with school. I hope.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jams the modern version of wonder woman

I wrote an entry about this woman a long while back.  The reason I bring her up is because she came up in a conversation the other day with my youngest nephew.  He and I were talking about where some of his peers were going for college. Youngest nephew (AKA YN) has recently graduated from high school. There is one kid among his peers who got a full scholarship to a military college. For those of you who do not know military colleges are tough to get into and tough to stay in once you get there. You have your normal college classes and then you have the military on top of that.  I have a lot of respect for the folks who go through that process; I cannot even imagine how tough and competitive it is.
My experience is limited with the military colleges. I did have an occasion to visit the Air Force academy once a while back when a friend’s relative was going there. It was surreal the place was magnificent and everybody saluted me. It’s about all I remember from being there.

Then I was set up on a date with Jams by the Jap and his wife. Jams is a graduate from the naval academy and a marine. I said it before and I’ll say it again it was and still is a tremendous pleasure to consider Jams a friend. Yeah she and I went out on a few dates but we decided to be friends, nothing was ever serious with us. It was a huge time of change for both of us. She was wrapping up being a bicycle messenger (she won the world championship of bike messengers and regularly trounced EVERYONE in the local alley cats) and moving on into teaching, I was  heading back into medicine after taking a long while off (16 months) and working in the DenCo bicycle industry after the suicide at one of the hospitals I worked at. 

She and I talked a great deal after we both moved on into our respective fields. She had a tough time adapting to teaching and I was going through my own process to get my career started again. We stayed in pretty good touch up until I moved back to Georgia. It was my fault I just did not keep up with her. I had her email but never wrote.
This leads to YN and I talking and I remembered Jams of course. I told him that military academies only take the best and brightest. I remembered one of the things Jams said to someone once when they asked her why she thought she could teach to which she replied humbly “I led men in war.” I about fell off my bike when I heard that because I was so impressed, in short she is one of the most honest, smartest, humble and most down to the earth people I ever met, then without a word will kick your ass in anything either intellectual or physical. Then to top it all off she’s not bad to look at either.
After the conversation with YN I felt bad for losing touch with this friend and kicked myself for not at least touching base with her when I went back out to DenCo this past march.  I dropped her an email and left her my contact info. One thing I forgot about Jams is when you email or text her she calls you back. She really does, it’s fantastic. She called me a couple of days later and we talked for about 30 minutes and caught up. Needless to say I was very surprised to hear from her.

She is working on getting another degree this time in psychology then eventually psychiatry in the mean time she has gotten married and still teaches math, AND yes she still rides. She chided me about my lack of cycling and encouraged me to get on the bikes more often especially since I have the summer off. Jams has over the years garnered a lot of respect from me to the point of reverence and admiration. Nothing ever came easy for her and man has she struggled with a multitude of things, she’s a warthog. She’s just damn tough and hard. What makes her so amazing is that she does not realize it. She does not puff herself up and she’ll catch you off guard by being so easy going.
So today after my busy weekend of working and shuttling Mom down to see YN graduate and taking the ex-girlfriend to the airport. I drug out the old red surly and put the cross tires on it, then went for a short ride on the gravel roads around here in rural county Georgia. I took the road bike to the empty bedroom and set it up on the trainer so I could do my training DVD more often. 

I have maybe 10-11 weeks until the fall semester starts. I should ride and run as much as possible around here since money is tight for the summer. Really though I have been lazy for the most part. Talking to Jams charged me up a little and made me hopeful for the future. She has overcome a lot and is still going forward; the question I ask myself is why can’t I do the same thing? I am but as we all know for me down time is hard on me. So once again Jams was wonderful and she did not know it. As usual if I told her how amazing she was she’d look nervously to the ground, put her arms behind her back and smile and say “no…no I’m not” and change the subject in a subtle and intelligent way in a fashion that you would not even know she changed the subject. Thanks Jams you’re a helluva a friend!

Thanks for reading.