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Archive for July, 2007

A couple of days before the 4th, Gann and I drove to St. Louis and laid rest to the last resentment I have towards my father. On a sad day back in February of 1984, my Dad said “Fuck no!” when all my friend’s parents said a loving “Yes” to our request to see The Police when they made a stop in Memphis during the Synchronicity tour. Twenty-three years and some odd months later, I found myself in the city that Bud built, finally able to live that dream and erase the last of the two things that cicatrized my Father and I’s relationship. The first being him not letting me see KISS when I was in the first grade. I was obviously a neglected and unloved child. (I ended that one with the first KISS reunion tour)

We arrived Sunday afternoon to our hotel in sad, dreary sunny, beautiful Cahokia, IL. It was only 10 minutes from the concert arena and anything else would have put us in Crackville or set us back $200 a day. We decided that we were hungry and set off through the street of Cahokia in search of sustenance. The only non-fast food option in downtown Cahokia was a pizza place and Gann was pizza-ed out. He said that it would be ok with him but I decided to soldier on to downtown St. Louis to find something to satisfy us both.

A couple of miles later, I saw a sign that read “St. Louis Downtown” with “Airport” below that and an arrow instructing a left turn. Cool, downtown St Louie here we come. Well the sign was not pointing toward downtown St. Louis and/or the airport. It was directing us to the St. Louis Downtown Airport which, ironically enough, ISN’T in St. Louis. It’s in East St. Louis. Should I have turned around? Yep. Did I turn around? Nope. Hell, I could see the bridge and the famous arch from where we were. Downtown St. Louis from here? Easy peasey.

Uh huh. We got a little lost. We kept driving multiple circles through multiple projects, all the while that bridge and arch kept moving forward, always just out of reach like the end of some ghetto rainbow. In Columbus like fashion, we finally lucked on the route to St. Louis but not before being tagged with a reminder of beautiful and crime free East St. Louis.

There we found food. The pizza was great.

Later that night we ventured out in search of entertainment. And that entertainment was Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. Them ladies were right friendly. It’s a wonder what a naked-but-for-high-heels woman working for tips will do to the male ego. That’s enough about that.

Monday was the day of the show. I have to say it was all a little bittersweet. Sting, Stewart, and Andy pretty much stuck to the hits (except for Spirits In The Material World, dammit), which is fine, but they re-worked a lot of them. I am kind of anal a purist and would have rather heard them in the fashion that I have been used to since 1980. But they sounded great, especially Stewart, and just finally getting to seem them was worth it. Been nice if Pops would have let me go see them when the tickets were $15 not 15 squared, though. Less than a year ago, during a conversation about concerts, I said that I had pretty much seen everyone in concert that I had ever wanted except The Police. Now I can cross them off and toss the list, it’s finished. The only holdout is Prince, but he doesn’t play the dirty stuff. So unless he becomes a lapsed Jehovah’s Witness, I’m good.

It was back to Cahokia to rest before returning home. Cahokia is kind of a sad little town. It’s not rundown and crime-ridden like E. St. Louis. It’s just kind of worn out. But at least it’s not Sauget, the little village next door, pop. 249. Sauget consists of a water treatment plant, a Monsanto Plant that was tagged one of the Superfund sights by the government, a place that is a zinc factory, and some place that makes the most horrid propane-like stench I’ve ever encountered. All those plus two strip clubs and a 24-hour bar make Sauget your average family-oriented community. Gann and I are planning a road trip there soon. Read the sign. The other sign.

Family Fun for All

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Today was my first day back to work.  Because of some bad circumstances and thanks to some good occurrences, I got what averaged out to a decent 12 days off.  After completing a whole 15 minutes of my shift, I was already, ready for a day off.

Not going into too much detail (not that it’s a top secret or complicated job, just boring), the man who operates my machine at work decided he didn’t want to come in today.  They took an operator and his assistant from a machine that was waiting for repair and put them with the rest of my regular crew to run the machine.  Which they couldn’t do.  A foreman, an operator, and two assistant operators evidently couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  After finally getting it running, they developed a cluster that they couldn’t fix.  A man that gets paid to run the machine, two men who get paid to assist him in running that machine, and a man who gets paid to tell us all how to run the machine, couldn’t fix the problem.  Me, a man who gets paid to do something a few pegs below what they do, fixed it.  By pushing a button.  Twice.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal and in the grand scheme of life, it ain’t.  If I took the time to explain exactly my job and theirs, it might make it seem  a bigger deal in a sub atomic degree, but that would be even more boring than this post so far.  I guess the reason it ticks me off is supposedly I am one of the worst people at my position and management believes I am as smart as Forrest Gump and a lot less charming.  But yet these idiots ran around like headless chickens trying to solve a problem that I fixed.  By pushing one button.  Twice.  I guess it proves my point in that I may be stupid in a lot of ways but they all add up to being too smart to be in management.  Guess there’s always being a shrimp boat captain to fall back on.

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