Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hello. I woke up this morning with a Monty Python lyric in my head... "always look at the bright side of life," Several years ago I read an article by Norman Vincent Peale in which he stated that we should look for something good in all of life's offerings. That is such a comforting way to live. We get sucked into the dark well of negative thoughts. Time is too precious to waste on a pail full of grief. Life is good. Now there's a tattoo for you.

We had a jazz duo perform at the Club last night. Bill Smith plays alto sax and Charles Sanders tickles the keys. They are fantastic musicians. Jazz is like Scotch, or Blue Cheese, it is an acquired taste. Your first taste might make you wince, then as you sit back and let the flavor massage your senses you begin to enjoy. Time mellows the taste and it becomes quite hypnotic.

I think many of us need to look at life that way. Don't judge the "taste" so quickly. Racism, elite-ism and hate might go away if we all take time to enjoy the taste of diversity.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hello, and welcome to "Birthday" day. The lady I share my life with gets another year older today. Well actually she's only one day older. We've been together more than 2/3 of our lives. She was only 15 years old when we met! We were at a party a while back and there were 2 other couples who got together at a younger age than we did. The one guy said he and his wife were only 13 years old when they met. WOW! It's cool that two people learn, love and grow together.

Today, young people generally shop around until they're in their twenties or thirties. It will be interesting to see how this shift in society affects the divorce rate. The peak divorce rate was in 1981, maybe a reflection of all of the young people marrying in the late 60's and 70's. It's probably a good thing that young lovers are more patient today.

Two people that have shared so much of life together find an uncommon comfort zone. The level of comfort is great, however, it can be dangerous. We realized over the years that you can take each other for granted. The incredible life you have carved out together becomes the norm. Nothing so special should be taken for granted.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hello. Piles of paper, empty coffee cup and mints... a view in the cube.

I got out of bed this morning, but never woke up. Was it the bourbon, the Chimay or the smoke? Hmmm? Maybe the combination. Sometimes my head just isn't big enough for all of the party favors. You know, sometimes you can drink and smoke for hours and get a good buzz. Then other times you have a couple of drinks and you're sideways. I've always credited it to the contact high you get from the people and the environment you share.

We were out last night, Hump Day, and made a run through Hysterical Fourth Street...the uh, entertainment mecca in Sioux Town. At midnight, most of the bars were closed and the ones that weren't had plenty of available seating. In the last 2 years, things have really died on Fourth Street. A couple of years ago on Wednesday night, you couldn't find a place to park, now you could park an entire fleet of cars anywhere up and down the street. I think a city needs locals with disposable cash jingling in their pockets for this type of area to work. Sioux Town obviously does not have that. I also believe that a lot of the citizens in the area would rather sit on their ass watching reality TV, than step out into the nightlife.

While we're discussing how apathetic Sioux Town is, I heard an interesting comment the other day. A friend of ours who has lived in town for over 15 years said that he didn't know many people at Saturday in the Park (the local festival that draws over 25,000 people every year). Are the majority of the 25,000 out-of-towners? When you ask people what they thought of the festival, many of them tell me they don't go. What!!! You don't go to a FREE outdoor music festival that features top national touring acts right in your backyard?

I'll never figure Sioux Town out. Why am I here? Oh yeah, the merry little band of freaks that make living here cool. Thanks, you all know who you are.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hello. Old pop cans, piles of paper and burlap walls...a view from my cubicle.

YAY!! We finally held a "Fridays on the Promenade" at the Promenade. This was the third show of eight. The first two were forced indoors by rain and a doubting sound tech. I was sooooo happy! "Fridays" are such a cool event. The Roth Fountain babbling, children laughing, Casey dancing and 5 or 6 hundred locals feeling the spirit of live music. Rain, rain go away...come again another day.

Years ago the youth of the area spent the warm summer nights cruising a route in downtown Sioux City known as the "Loop". The journey went north on Nebraska Street to Eleventh or Fourteenth, (depending on your personality), and then over to Pierce Street where you turned south and rambled to Fourth or Fifth and started over, again and again and again. People parked at their favorite spots along the way to "get busy" or enjoy some face time with a rival. It was the social circle of the day. As our youth changed, thanks to our society, the law cracked down on "cruising the Loop" and it has become a thing of the past.

Last Saturday night, however, we enjoyed cruising the Loop once again. Our dear friend, Phil has convinced the local authorities to allow a "Cruise the Loop Night" once a year as part of the River-Cade festivities. It was a magnificent sight! Hundreds of cars and motorcycles filling all three lanes of the one-way streets. There were cars from the 1920's to a 2009 Toyota flying it's suicide doors. Chatting with the folks in the car next to you, screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber brought back fond memories.

Once again, I'm very thankful for the little band of friends we have. They make Sioux City cool.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hello. The Fourth of July is behind us and summer is slipping away. We spend the first 6 months of each year prepping for Saturday in the Park, a music festival held on the Saturday closest to Independence Day for the past 19 years. The closer it gets to the day of the festival everyone around town is buzzing about the bands, the weather, the crowd, the parking and the beer. The week of the fest there is something going on daily. The anticipation builds and then the day finally arrives... and in the blink of an eye, it's over. This year was weird. I felt like everything was happening in a dream-like state and I was looking through a fogged-over window, yearning to be part of it. You know, kind of like life.