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Will Power After All These Years
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2013-February-22 10:24
The other day my brother Tim and I were in Target. Before we had taken 10 steps into the store we were confronted by a shelf of Oreos with Mega Filling. When they introduced Double Stuffed Oreos it seemed like a great idea since for years I had been splitting two cookies, eating the 'plain' parts and putting the filling parts together...creating my very own Double Stuffed Oreo. A few months ago I was at WalMart and saw a shelf full of Triple Stuffed Oreos. The question pops into my mind. How fat do we really want to be? Now they trumped the Triple Stuffed with Mega Stuffed. What is that? Four Times?....Five Times?....or maybe just 3.4 times. Suddenly I had a craving for Oreos and milk. I am proud to say I bought one package of just regular original single stuffed Oreos. It was sort of a health thing. I have also stopped putting gravy on salad and leaving the mayo off of my peanut butter, butter, and mayo toast. My brother, however, got all wide-eyed and couldn't resist the Mega Stuffed. As we left the store, I asked Tim how long after I got home would I have my first Oreo. Would it be in the first 15 minutes?...Within an hour?....or later that night. Of course he chose the first option. We've been brothers for decades. He, with his incredible will-power, told me he planned on having a single cookie as a TV Treat sometime that night. That just amazes me because he wasn't kidding. Later that night I had to call him. First I had to tell him that I had indeed had a cookie in the first 15 minutes. He told me he had one cookie. I told him I had one as well. One row.
The comments from Tony about my home on Ramsey Hill in St. Paul caused a fun little exercise. I spent a few moments trying to remember every place I've ever lived and what decorating additions I did to them. Now, it is time for my nap. When that's over I'll have an Oreo. I think there are 3 left plus I can lick the crumbs.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2012-December-24 12:20
I am really sorry that it has been a really bad year for updates. I have told at least a dozen people that in the new year things will get better. Even tho I am a bad blogger I still get mail. Whether you write, read, or have just given up on me...Merry Christmas!!!
Check it out
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2012-July-24 16:59
Check out the new pictures!!! They are under family fun 2009-2011
Im still alive!!!! Of course.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2012-July-24 15:05
I have visitors today! I just got back from having lunch with my family. Man i need to start bloging some more im so busy i never have time ( not true ) laziness. I sag my pants tell my *** ( ass ) shows. My nephew is listening to some really dirty songs like all kids do these days. There were no dirty song when i was a kid we had to make our own:(. Today I figured out that LOL doesn't always stand for "laugh out loud" it also means "little old ladies" ( sorry if that affends you) because im sure it does for every one of you. Well enough for today folks. :) Have an awsome day:)
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2012-February-07 21:25
If you came here without a visit to the main site you don't know what is lurking over there. At long last Chapter 29, complete and posted. As the years go by it becomes quite the chore to dredge these things out of my aging brain. Not only do I hope the last check I write bounces, I also hope I get to write -30- without using my final brain cell. The winter must be a time for more surfing because hardly a day goes by without hearing from someone who has discovered my site. Finding it is one thing. Reading every word proves you like me. Take care.... R
Happy New Year, Of Course!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2011-December-31 08:58
Eating, this week has been out of control, so when someone suggest a non-eating event, I was up for it. Also, in my regular quest for new theater experiences, I was happy to accept an invitation to see some show in a city about 80 miles north of here. The ride in the dark through miles and miles of forest was quite spooky and I expected any moment, our progress to be blocked by a huge saucer shaped flying object hovering above the highway. Of course, it would turn out that the only reason the extra-terrestrials had traveled light-years through space was to probe me, which they proceeded to do over and over again for a Martian production of BukakkeEarthlings.com....Let's just say it wouldn't have been a pleasant experience. Fortunately, nothing happened and we arrived in time to see a production of that wonderful Christmas Classic, Death of a Salesman. "Willie, I made the last payment on the house today. We're free and clear. We're free. We're free. We're free." (curtain) Actually, there wasn't a curtain, but they did darken the theater long enough for the actors to exit before coming back for their curtain calls. I could tell a couple of cast members were not only hoping for applause but also a little probing but I was not much interested in fulfilling their desires because I had to anticipate a potential date with the beta-probes on the 80 miles return trip through the northern woods of Minnesota. While musing during the drive, I conceived the idea of making my goulash when I got home. During conversational silences I planned the entire cooking process while at the same time keeping an eye peeled for tumescent little green men. I saw none unless you count the naked Lucky Charms Gremlin and I will say nothing except the stories of his prodigious member suggest he has been kissing the Blarney Stone. I arrived home, removed my scarves, gloves, coat; kicked off my shoes and sat for a while at the kitchen counter, sipping a fine red (Kool-Aid), and getting my Gordon Ramsey Mojo on. I began by finding a huge pot to boil the macaroni. I placed it in the sink and began filling it with water. It seemed to take forever. As the pot slowly filled...(the directions on the pasta suggest 5 quarts)....I began to think of Willy Loman (Character in the play) and then I thought of Arthur Miller (creator of Willie Loman) and then I thought of Marilyn Monroe (who married Arthur Miller) and then I thought....why in the world did she marry him and that made me think of that lying Lucky Charms guy. (btw -- he sent me an angry IM insisting he is NOT a gremlin but is a leprechaun. As if I don't know that leprechauns are known to have big ones only exceeded by guys in the Czech Republic.)
I was jarred out of my reverie by the sound of water splashing. I turned off the spigot, poured 2 or 3 quarts of water out of the pot to bring the total down to around five, lifted it to the stove and that is where it sits to this moment.
I had 3 squares of pizza and half a glass of red stuff. I sprinkled them with Tabasco and Parmesan cheese and crawled into bed to read and chew.
It wasn't a wasted evening but it did prove the sagacity of the admonition to beware of people bearing extra tickets to out-of-town shows. Maybe the next time, I will make a north-woods love connection, Steven Spielberg will immortalize it and Willie won't have a heart-attack. I do live in a lollipop world. Tomorrow I will chop the onions. Until then, with fond thoughts, for a wonderful 2012, I remain....
Just In Time
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2011-December-22 10:39
I know this will sound like a lame excuse but I forgot my own password. It literally came to me in a dream and just in time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a promise that in the New Year I will finish My Story so I can move on to other things. (Yeah yeah!) I know you've heard this promise before but a shallow promise is better than a refusal to every write again. Take care everybody.
Hey! I'm Not Dead
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2011-October-18 13:28
I came onto the computer to finally get on track with this blog and mostly with MY STORY. I had every good intention of spending a few hours on the rough draft and completing it before the week-end. Before I began I actually looked at the list of email replies I owe to kind people who have written. I replied to 3 of them. There are 26 more to go. I'm tired. I'll try again tomorrow.
In the meantime, just talk among yourselves and make up any shit you want.
This And That
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2011-August-03 21:27
I see that Greg dropped me a note. It was his older sister I went to High School with in the last century. For those of you eavesdropping on these comment replies, Greg has been my younger brother's friend for years. I seduced him into going to the opera with me and I'm sure he finds hanging out with Wally rather than the Beaver is more edifying than checking out the band on Friday night at the Vets Club in Carlton.
Another note from Cindy, out there in the Amador Valley in California. Cindy was a regular caller when I haunted KDWB and she made me feel nice and old when she mentioned her 40th High School Reunion coming up. I so remember Robbinsdale High School. Gone now, but not forgotten. And my friend Marco from Green Bay. designsrvs wrote on 2011-July-30 07:22:21: Glad I had a little to do in getting you there. The grapevine told me you held court wherever you went and were the belle of the ball. I have a reunion next week and am at best ambivalent about getting there. Hope to see you before the next opera season. For some reason I knew that Abbot Pennings had closed. Come to think of it....Abbot Pennings himself is long gone as well. Marco is very diligent when it comes to regular reminders......whining.....that another Chapter of My Story is due. Yes. I heard. Seriously.....I'm getting back into things. Slowly. Over on another mail site, Moon dropped me a note. It was kind of funny because he added his note to a reply to an earlier bit of mail from me in 2006 or something.....I used to be prolific. Moon is sending a picture. If I am fully dressed in the photo, I'll share it.
One thing prompted me to write tonight. How come most of the radio stations I tune to are so damn embarrassing? It's rhetorical. Three things come to mind. No pride. No one to teach them. No demands. Makes me sad.
Just Before Bed
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2011-July-26 21:54
I wasn't going to write anything tonight, but I just brushed my teeth and looked in the mirror. About the only time I look in the mirror these days is while brushing my teeth. I think I am going to dye my hair. Again. Not the brassy-blonde of the 80's and 90's, but something subtle. Jet black. I have this horrid white streak of hair streaking up from my cowlick near the front of my hair-line. It is streaking awful because it looks like I put it there on purpose. Sort of like a twisted Elsa Lanchester in the Bride Of Frankenstein. Isn't there a wonderful story about her husband, Charles Laughton, who was quite gay in the current meaning of the word; not the 30's meaning of the word. That was always quite confusing to me. The story (myth) is the she caught him on the living room sofa in flagrante delicto with some young chorus boy. She stormed from the room and he ran after her begging for forgiveness and asking over and over, "What can I do to make it up to you?" She replied, "Sell the couch." I love stories like that. I hope they are true. The closest I ever came to saying something lasting and unique was when I arrived at a party in Minneapolis (drunk), dropped my pants and said, "Anyone want to fuck a fancy showgirl?" I just googled that phrase and nothing came up. I'm going to work on it and see if I can use the internet to google my way to eternal fame.
Way Too Many Memories
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2011-July-25 21:30
I missed every High School Class Reunion in the 107 years since I left old Cloquet High on Carlton Avenue. I managed to make it back for the 100th Anniversary of the school, along with a couple of thousand others in 1997. I woman was there from the Class of 1915. Or maybe she just attended the school in 1915. Whatever, she was no spring chicken. Anyway, my record of Reunion attendance was sketchy. Late last year I got a call asking me if I were the Fenton Barley Terpenskaya who attended Cloquet High School (I used an alias from grade 3 to grade 12) I lied and said I had never heard of such a person. A few minutes later, being assured they weren't going to make me pay to cover up some graffiti in the boy's room on the 2nd floor, I owned up to my true identity (Nikita Perez)and agreed to receive all the information concerning the big class reunion coming up in July of 2011. In due time, the info arrived and I put it in the "important papers-pending" stack and got back to trying to spend myself into the poor house.
In the back of my mind, I knew that I had an event coming up in the summer of 2011. As the winter snows melted, a friend asked me if I was going to my High School Reunion. He wasn't just being nosy. His sister, Karen, was a class-mate of mine and his curiosity was actually his sister's. I told him (and he relayed it to Karen) that I was going. Indeed. I had every good intention.
On April 15, 2011, all day I had a strange sense that I should be putting something in the mail. The feeling passed and it wasn't until early May that I ran across the "important papers-pending" stack. To my horror, I had missed the sign-up cut-off deadline, April 15, 2011. I KNEW that date had some significance. To be honest I wasn't all that worried because I figured if I called, they'd cut me some slack...and I had plenty of time (months) to take care of it. By the way, I also got a nasty note from the Internal Revenue Service but I'll save that story for another time.
Jump ahead to the 4th of July. I was visiting my nephew's family in the Twin Cities when I was reminded of the pending reunion. My Class Reunion. In JUNE!!! Damn!!! I missed it. Crap! (I might have used the "F" word but these are children of the 50's and we didn't "F" this and "F" that.
Leap forward with me to July 23rd, Saturday morning when I was jarred from a dream that Joe Friday was sitting on my sofa by class-mate Karen's younger brother.
"Where were you?" "You must go to the dinner tonight." yadayadayada. I thought I had missed it. My reply. I don't have a thing to wear. Nobody will miss me, I'm sure. yadayadayada. The phone calls ended with the basic, I'll think about it.
Now I was haunted. It wasn't so much that I wanted to attend the reunion; it seemed like attending was my sworn duty. If I didn't show up I'd be making a statement I really didn't want to make. I needed a haircut, I hadn't done laundry in a month, I ate salted-in-the-shell peanuts the night before and was retaining water....I had many reasons miss it. The voices argued in my brain and even a Prozac double-dose didn't ease the anxiety. By noon, I called Karen and told her I would be there...probably. By 1PM I had called the head of the committee to tell her "I had thought it was in June" and if it was permitted, I would be there. By 2PM I was at JCPenney's buying some clean socks and underwear. At 5:55PM, I arrived at the Cloquet Country Club, wrote a check for $30 and the odyssey was complete.
I have so much to write about that evening (which lasted until 2:45am) and how happy I am that some people cared enough to get me there. Although I wouldn't have realized it, I almost missed a really wonderful experience. I got to spend some conversation time with people I haven't talked to in 40-50 years. I saw many people I would have loved to spend an entire dinner with and only got to do a little cocktail party "Hi..great to see you". I realized that the kids I went to school with turned out OK. Thoreau and I were wrong. The mass of men DON'T live lives of quiet desperation. Few of the gang at my Class Reunion will ever read this, but for those who do, it was great seeing you. I wish I had more time to chat and if you ever feel like carrying on a colloque, I'm game. I now know why I spent so much time hanging out with Terry M. and why I have had decades of good memories of the plays I was in with Sharon M. I hardly got to talk to Tim S. but he should know I appreciate how he tried to get me to do my homework. Neil B. actually had read this Blog and website, so he gets high marks. There were many more and I hate that I'm not mentioning everyone. All the nice comments, are so damn appreciated, I will live on them for months.
It could have been better, though. Next Reunion, I suggest that I sit on a raised dais at the head of the room and spend the evening talking about myself. I'll even leave time for questions. Five years, right?
Posted by Rob Sherwood Sunday, 2011-July-24 21:11
Good. Took care of the dust and now I will continue. The reason I am so tired is because on Saturday I went to a High School Class Reunion. Have you ever gone to any of your reunions? This was my first, although about 15 years ago I DID go to 100th Anniversary All School Reunion which at no standards at all. Anyone and everyone who had ever gone to the high school was encourage to attend. Honor Society and high school drop-outs sharing memories.
This was different. This was an actual CLASS reunion and a surprising percentage of the class attended. Never have I seen such a gaggle of Lesbians and Homosexuals.
(Just checking to see if you are paying attention.)
Actually, my memory must be way off, because I have always been under the impression I went to school with a bunch of teenagers and it turns out my classmates were all very old and feeble. I managed to avoid the Metamucil Table (it was in a completely separate room because of the rude noises emanating from THAT bunch) and spent the entire evening at a table with some people who claimed to know me but even after checking their IDs, I have no recollection of ever meeting. They were the sort of people I wouldn't hang around with anyway.
Once, I asked someone who did a lot of public speaking how they over-came their nervousness. He said that he simply imagined the entire group naked and they weren't frightening any more. So, game for most anything these days, for the rest of the evening I imagined everyone there totally naked.
And that is why I'll have to save the rest (and true) story of my High School Reunion for when I am not so traumatized. I am hoping it is just a horrible medication induced nightmare and soon I'll wake up.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Sunday, 2011-July-24 15:10
Anybody there? Hello? Hello? Excuse me while I find my Swifter. These keys are dusty as hell. ...... I just looked under the kitchen sink and the Swifter box was empty. I am now leaving for the store to buy some new Swifters and maybe some EndDust. When I have taken care of this problem, I shall get on with my BLOG entitled...Exhaustion.0. (Achew) OMG. I'm allergic to this dust. I'll have to stop at the drug store as well.
Lack Of Initiative
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2011-April-02 21:06
I asked my Priest about it and he said it is St. Andreas' Fault.
Out Like A Lamb
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2011-March-29 20:26
Sorry I haven't written in a couple of weeks. It's Obama's fault.
But, On the other Hand.....
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2011-March-09 14:37
My friends and relatives like to play the "what would you do if you won the lottery?" game. Imagine walking out of some office in St. Paul or Sacramento or Peelback, Arkansas (I made that city up but it sounds right) with a check for 100 million dollars. Your $ after taxes. If you play the game the way most people play it, the game quickly gets boring. Simply, I would spend money like a drunken gym teacher. End of story. To make the 'game' interesting, make it more personal. What is the FIRST thing you would do after collecting the check and securing it in a bank or whatever? Would you sleep in the same bed that night? Would you party? Would you go on a shopping spree, book a cruise, buy a Mercedes? The very FIRST thing. Would you have a coronary infarction and drop dead on the pavement outside of Wells Fargo? (Wouldn't THAT be a kick in the nuts!) These 'what-if' games can be fun. What would you do if you went to the doctor and he says, "Oh, by the way. You'll probably be dead in 3 weeks." You'd be stunned, right? You would sob? Would you get anxious? Would you laugh? Would you say, "Well, that sucks." I know what I would do. Get a Whopper and fries and buy a package of Salem Lite 100's. I haven't smoked for 10 years now, but when I did, I loved it and three weeks after I got the news they could toss me in the ground along with the ashes and butts in that huge fucking ash tray and I'd be a happy camper. What do you think of having your picture (photograph) on your tombstone? Who chooses it? Would you want a picture if it made you look fat? My friend from Taiwan, Shao Tsi Wen wouldn't look at tombstone pictures because he thought it might capture his soul. Do souls make you fat? I mean if you capture a lot of them. You know what they say, the tombstone adds 10 pounds no matter what. I'm going for a bike ride. Thank god it is flat.
Sometime There's Nothing To Say
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2011-March-04 22:31
This is one of those times.
Time Marches On
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2011-March-01 22:06
Another month and another date in Bold. I was sitting at Wendy's this afternoon helping my food budget with a 99 cent Double Stack. I miss the days when McDonald's Quarter Pounder was 99 cents. Of course I miss gas for 27-9. I have a problem with Wendy's. Did you hear that Wendy got pregnant? The Burger King put his Whopper in Wendy's Hot and Juicy. A friend of mine named Mark said that to me while eating in a Wendy's in St. Paul in the early 70's. I laughed and coughed and snotted Pepsi all over the table and these many years later, I still think of it EVERY time I eat there. I can't get it out of my brain! Help me!
Sitting across from me reading a newspaper was Donald Rumsfeld. I really think it was him because half-way through his burger he moved onto another table with no provocation.
I often see people who look like famous people. I mention it to other people but their eyes aren't as keen as mine. In the last week I have ridden a bus with Rudolf Nureyev. Twice. I know it was him because he was very light on his feet when he walked down the aisle and he had an application form from Dancing With The Stars.
I also bought a hot chocolate at a Starbucks and the guy standing in line right in front of me looked like that fat porn star, Ron Jeremy. At first he didn't, but when I saw him naked it was a perfect duplicate. He doesn't do porn anymore. (Who'd want to see that?) He did make a cameo on Law & Order. He played the defendant and was hung. So was the jury. Which reminds me of KDWB. The other day I was listening to a radio talk show and it soooo obvious they had processing on the microphone. My first station with processing was WDGY. They had the CBS Lab Audiomax and Volumax. Pretty basic stuff. When I moved to KDWB, Deane had processing (can't remember what it was) but it sounded pretty good. One night I got an idea. It came to me in a dream. Why not processing on the DJ's mike? In addition...or in spite of...the general signal processing. I couldn't wait for the next day. When I got to work I bothered Don Bleu with my dream. Finally, I worked up the nerve, and mentioned it to Deane. He stared at me until I bowed my head and backed out of his presence. The chief engineer was feeding the both hamsters (we were on full power) and I interrupted him with a question. "You know what I would really be neat? I would like processing on the DJ's studio mike." He replied, "And you'd also like a ten inch dick, right?" I took that as a no.
Leave it to the late and wonderful night-time engineer, Rey Lark, who a few days later came to me and said he had some processing for the mike and would I like him to put it in and see how it sounded. I put on Light My Fire (6 minutes) and he did his magic. When Jim Morrison finished, I poked the button, slid the slide, and.........
It flooded the crimson twilight,In other words, not cribbed from Sir Arthur Sullivan, it sounded wonderful. The angels were singing. I was in heaven. The last time I had been that happy was playing twister with Dame Margot Fonteyn. ("Left toes on blue, tutu on yellow")Nureyev was jealous hell.
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to put a processor on life?
Tweaking the highs, I remain....
It's A Miracle
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2011-February-24 22:09
I am so sorry I didn't blog yesterday. I could say I spent the morning chugging Nyquil and the afternoon at a Russ Meyers retrospective, but that would be a flashback to my youth. These days I worry that Nyquil could cause heart problems. Let me Google that. Hmmmm. Dizziness, increased heart rate and nervousness. I don't need them. I'll just double my Prozac. It won't cure a cold but at least I won't be anxious about it. Russ Meyers made soft-porn movies in the late 60's & early 70's. These were so 'soft' they wouldn't even qualify for the after midnight schedule on Showtime. His movies were all about extremely buxom babes with boobs big enough to make a Guernsey envious. This was before they struck pay-dirt in the California Silicone Valley and they had to use cotton batting or concrete.
My time at K101 in San Francisco wasn't wasted after all. At some point in early 1982 I answered the phone and it was a former Minnesota listener now transplanted to San Francisco. Usually I'd rather slide down a razor-blade banister than meet up for dinner with a stranger. Not that I am or ever have been the definition of "arm candy", I still worried about having to eat dinner in a public place with someone who says, "Call me Joe" and keeps muttering over his prime rib, "I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being!" We ended up eating at one of the darkest restaurants in San Francisco. Joe wasn't taking any chances. Besides, much to I-Knew-It, my host was accompanied by his partner. I know it is a beautiful thing, this whole life-long-love, but I didn't quite understand it in 1982, and it seems too complicated in 2011. His partner wasn't the gayest person I've ever met but when he pierced his ears, sequins poured out....so the San Francisco fire department was standing by.
Thanks to the internet and my website and in spite of my cold I was ready to slide down that razor blade banister again. That couple now lives in Richmond, Virginia, still together, raising a wonderful special needs son and they were keen on driving to see me and spend the day. I met their Sean, who is indeed special and had a fun afternoon dinner I will never forget. I owe that re-union to the internet. Remind me to send Al Gore a thank-you note.
I prefer cherry blossoms to snow flakes so I'm out of here. No time for music. I don't like dashing but dash I did and "nothing will be finer than to be in Carolina...in the moooooooorrrrrrning.
Feeling A Bit Off
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2011-February-22 22:06
Sometime in the middle of the night I woke with a scratchy throat and sloppy nose. I may have to call the house doctor. Ha! How long has it been since hotel's had house doctors. Or house detectives for that matter. I like those old-fashioned hotels where they had the funky door you would put your suit into and the hotel fairies would steam and press it and return it in the morning. I did that once and never saw the suit again. Seriously, I am not feeling well and I'm going to bed. Imagine how one feels when hours pass without a call from the President. The last time I spent the night in Washington D.C. I hung out with Dick Nixon. He kept asking me to pull his finger...Damn! he was tricky. I love big eastern cities. So many friendly ladies worried about my social life. They keep asking me, "Going out?" and "Looking for a date?"
This is a horrible blog and THIS time I'm not re-writing it. Deal with it.
PS: I am really sick. I went to the bar for a sip of something medicinal and this nice lady told me I was hot. I KNEW I had a fever.
Having Too Much Fun (Mulligan)
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2011-February-21 20:58
*Blogger's Note: This is the second time I've written this entry. None of the facts were changed to protect the innocent.
Lounging, reading, music, and believe it or not...fireworks! There was a perfectly good window in my train compartment but you'd have to be an idiot to look out of it because it was night and you would see nothing except your own reflection in the window. As I sat looking out the window at the speeding dark (keep your opinions to yourself, please )and as we rolled through some small town was surprised to see fireworks. Not just a firework...but the whole doggarn magilla. If they were 4th of July fireworks then the train was really running late. After deciding it might be the Grits Festival, celebrating the harvesting of the grits..well...hell...I didn't know wtf it was. I DO know it was eerie watching the rocket's red glare from a constantly changing perspective. Of course that little display sparks another spat of My Stories. ("I hate your damn stories...)
For almost 60 years I've remembered a particular Fourth fireworks display when I was about 7 or 8...or 5. The fireworks were shot off at a local softball field. The audience sat in the stands and among the tombstones in an adjacent cemetery and they fired the rockets from the area just over the center-field fence. Being showered with ash and sparks was part of the fun and it wasn't considered a success unless two or three people were seriously burned. (The local hospital's annual profit depended on a 'successful' 4th of July.)What made this particular show memorable were my antics along with about 20 other kids around the same age. We would run toward the outfield fence like an invading army taking the beach and at each BOOM and BANG would fall down in death throes of varying dramatic degree. Then we'd run back, wait for the next one, and run and "die" again. Even Patty Duke said, "That's some fine acting" and several of us won Golden Globes (but no Oscars). I know that's a silly story but it is etched in my memory and I bet they didn't have Patty Duke at the Grits Festival.
The other two memorable fireworks were in Tacoma and San Francisco and I'll save the meat of those stories for another time. One involved spending twelve hours on a blanket by the Marina saving my space and watching the Boiz and the Lesbians sashay by (This was SF) and the other was in Tacoma when they all went boom at once...the fireworks, not the Boiz and the Lesbians.
That's the end of this blog. On the original version I remarked at how boring the stories were and asked for forgiveness. When I found out my penance was the standard 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, A Novena, and a book report on The Song of Bernadette, I decided to do it over and see if I could get a plea deal.
It was still boring.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Sunday, 2011-February-20 21:50
I've splurged for a compartment on the train to Washington. I can be quite the elitist when the finances lean to green. Why am I paying an extra $100 to spend 19 hours on the choo-choo? I got aboard without standing in line. A nice man lifted my bag up the stairs without a snarky comment. I found my room, hung my coat in the little closet, unpacked my jammies, books, music, and snacks, sat on the wide seat, stretched my legs and remembered many other wonderful train times. When I worked in Tacoma I rode the train dozens of times. Often, just to Portland for a fun day trip. Many times to Minnesota on a 36 hour, two night odyssey through the Rockies. I've made these trips sitting in coach and lounging in compartments. In some crazy fiscal madness I used to get the room with bathroom and shower and ride across the old Great Northern route like a latter-day robber baron. Once, on a trip from Washington State to San Francisco, I went coach and somewhere in the Siskiyou Mountains, a cowboy was assigned the seat next to me. He got on the train just after midnight and by 12:30am was farting like a steam engine huffing its way up-grade. The sounds were off-putting and the aromas were disconcerting so I fled his flatulence to sit in the lounge and watch the dark speed by outside the windows. Somewhere around 6:30am I checked and he was gone. I returned to my seat, but was careful not to touch or put any personal objects on his seat...for obvious reasons. So, if given a choice between a lonely compartment and the companionship of coach, I'll take the solitude. It's good to be King.
It seemed like time for music. My earphones were hanging about my neck (I can't wear buds) and I returned them to my ears and powered up.
"Ohh whoaah....." Yes Justin Beiber. He seems like a nice lad. While I listened I looked out the window and decided to quit wearing blue jeans or sneakers. EVERY senior citizen I could see was wearing blue jeans and sneakers. Brilliantly white sneakers. And there is something very strange that happens to Senior Citizen Blue Jeans. They smell odd. I was going to write, "they smell funny", but there is nothing funny about it. Seriously. Their jeans are fine until they take their first Senior Discount and ...bang! From then on they just don't smell nice. At some other time I'll think about why that is, but trust me...it is true.
"You know you love me, I know you care
Just shout whenever, and I'll be there"
If you sniffed Justin Beiber's jeans they would smell just fine. I surmise.
Wasted Days And Wasted Nights
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2011-February-19 17:41
It turns out I didn't have to spend the night in the roach motel after all. Memo to myself: Read Itinerary. I actually had plenty of time between trains. Even time to have a meal with a friend in Chicago. Breakfast at the hotel was the plan since he works and hearing the moaning and groaning about driving downtown was something I could deal with in the morning but not in the evening. Turns out the breakfast was without the slightest mewl.
There is something I really like about breakfast in a hotel restaurant. Often, the pricey (and not very good) night-time restaurant becomes the pricey (and often quite nice) breakfast restaurant. I, however, am boycotting the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco for breakfast. When orange juice is that expensive I expect it to be personally squeezed between the legs of Faith Hill. (knee level--don't be dirty)
Not that this hotel restaurant was cheap. What was I thinking that made me order "Green Eggs & Ham?" It sounded fun but turned out to be eggs scrambled with spinach and a piece of ham thin enough to read the Sun-Times through. And it was just $15 and no cents and I had no sense when I ordered it. (Toast was extra!!!!) My friend had a bagel and a schmear. I could have gotten him one of those at Dunkin' Donuts. We had a nice conversation though and I now wish we had eaten dinner. Maybe next time because by 9:30am he was off to work and I was back to killing time. My train didn't leave until 6:40pm.
In 1979 I took the train from Duluth to St. Paul...St. Paul to Chicago....and Chicago to NYC. I wrote about it in my story because the fondly remembered Mesa Kincaid tried to poison me on the Twin City/Windy City portion of the trip. That time I had time to kill and some of it was spent in various public facilities as her toxins worked their wonders on my bowels. By noon I had almost recovered. I fluffed and douched (metaphorically) in the Union Depot bathroom and after checking my bags wandered in search of a time-killing diversion. The only movie playing within walking distance of the station was something with Don Knotts. On a previous trip to Chicago I saw an Elvis movie at the same theater...and this time I was seeing RITE. I weep for the poor Catholic Church and Anthony Hopkins' career. Memo to myself:Avoid downtown Chicago Movies.
The movie didn't kill enough time. I arrived at the train station almost 3 hours early and entertained myself with my Kindle and mp3 player.
Etta James is singing...."Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....." and they are calling my train.
Memo to myself: Update music.
But What About the Bugs?
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2011-February-18 15:00
A pillow changed my life. Recently. Last fall I was visiting and the pillow on the guest bed was acting strange. (I suppose that should be strangely) When my head first rested upon this eerie-pillow it felt rock hard. I take that back. It didn't feel quite as hard as a rock. Let's say it felt like a 25 pound burlap bag of clay. For someone who bought a couple of feather pillows in 1975 and still used them even though the feathers had disintegrated to dust, this pillow wouldn't do. Add to my bed-time experience a set of flannel sheets and I was prepared for a miserable night. Then...like my hair-girl at the Aveda Salon...it felt like a pair of warm hands grabbed my temples and the pillow and I became one. It would be easy to say my head sank into the bag of clay but it was more than that. My head was absorbed by the pillow and all the thoughts and cares of the day drained away. When I rolled to the side, my right arm under, my head over, the pillow conformed in a magical way and for those moments before sleep I became that pillow.
Getting into the bed at the hotel in Chicago I was prepared to miss my pillow. I say MY because I stole it from my host. I told them about my pillow epiphany the next morning and also informed them I was absconding with it. They approved. Just after Thanksgiving I saw a clone at Kohl's and $38 dollars later had two magical pillows. I returned the original when I visited at Christmas. I also noticed that all the pillows in the guest bedroom were now bolted to the mattress. It was like sleeping in a Motel-5.
I needed to sleep in a hotel because the arrival of the train from Minneapolis didn't match the departure of the train from Chicago. It was way to cold to enjoy my evening in the Windy City. There was no wind, ironically, but I could see my breath and when I can see my breath and haven't been eating garlic, it is too cold. It didn't matter. I had a Kindle full of books as well as a couple borrowed from the Duluth Public Library. I'm never bored if there is something to read. Getting back to my pillow. I do not travel with my own pillow. Or my own linen. All the bed-bug talk has made me think about it but so far Jackie Onassis/Wallace Simpson I am not. I had dozed on the train but not much. There must have been a convention of some sort in Chicago because the train was loaded with Amish families heading to Chicago. Sitting in the car with 12-14 Amish made me uneasy. I kept wondering if they had special dispensation to ride the train. I kept thinking about the convention they were going to..."When did thee get in?" Lets just say it wasn't my best train trip. That would be when I rode the Orient Express and spent the night having wild sex with Agatha Christie. Or Peter Ustinov. I can never tell the difference.
I reached for the light switch just as a cockroach found himself in plain sight on my night stand. For $96 a night plus tax I didn't look forward to spending the night with a stranger. Also, if there is a cockroach, you know there are probably bed bugs. Unless cockroaches eat bedbugs. Sort of like snakes in a corn field eat the mice. Since I had no desire to sleep with a roach, bug, snake, or mouse and both Agatha & Peter are no longer among us, I called the front desk and complained. Their solution was an offer of a different room. It seemed to me it would be much easier to move the roach to a different room so I demurred.
I didn't get a bug discount and the Amish in the room above me partied until 4am, but I was engrossed in the latest John Grisham so I didn't give a whit.
And So It Begins
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2011-February-17 10:57
The bus was ten minutes late, pulling in just as Lady Gaga began singing about a bad romance. I used to read comment after comment about the "lady at the Laundromat" who was a major bitch. Twenty minutes earlier when I dragged my bag into the combination laundromat/bus station she had greeted me with a gimlet eye. I would have rather she greeted me with a Gimlet, even though it was barely 8am. I settled for a bite-sized Tootsie Roll out of a basket near the cash-register. When she realized I was already ticketed and there wasn't a commission from Jefferson Lines in her future, she leaped over the counter and proceeded to pound the back of my head in an effort to get me to up-spit the undeserved Tootsie Roll.
Perhaps I exaggerate.
She did give me a look, not unlike the bald guy with the mustache on the Laurel & Hardy films gave the boys. If you watch it you'll see that Homer Simpson's "Doh!" was being doh-ed before Rupert Murdoch was born.
"Rah Rah uh uh uh"
The bus arrived, I turned my very heavy bag to a woman bus-driver who hefted it to its proper place with a comment, "You're overweight." to which I replied, "You're not so skinny yourself." The laundromat woman yelled from the door, "Watch him...he's a candy thief." Ignoring her I climbed aboard.
"I want your ugly....."
Lady Gaga must have peaked at my fellow passengers because, aside from two rather stuck-up college babes, a guy who looked like a former colonel in the National Guard, and an African-American guy (It is the law that every Greyhound or Jefferson bus must include at least one black on every run).
Don't bitch that I'm being racist! It's THE LAW!
The rest of the passengers were in the various final stages of syphilis and leprosy. "...I want your disease..."
My mp3 timing was superb. The next time I heard Lady Gaga was on 35E passing the former Ramsey County General Hospital (They renamed it.....I think it is called...ODs R US.)just a minute or two from the St. Paul bus station. I'm staying here, visiting family over in Scott County for a few days.
----------dashes representing four days in Belle Plaine---------
After saying my goodbyes on another frigid morning, I dragged my fat ass into the Amtrak station. The clerk who helped me get right with the railroad wasn't in a very good mood but I forgave him since he was going to be working all the live-long day. At last I sat in an uncomfortable plastic seat (obviously molded for an ass shaped differently than mine)and dragged out my mp3 player.
"Gaga ooh la la..."
I think this is where you came in.
On My Way Home
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2011-February-05 21:54
Just to let you know....I'll be returning to the computer for Blog...My Story....and email replies on or about the 14th of Feb. (Yeah Right!) Trust me.
Happy Christmas! God Bless us. Every one!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2010-December-20 22:09
This is my last screwed up Christmas. For years this has actually, really been my favorite time of year, but I've let my inertia and anxieties ruin it for me lately. Next year.......it will be better.
I think of so many people who have brightened my Christmas in the past. Thanks....from the powers-that-were at KDWB who didn't fire me when I put lights in my hair for the Christmas Party...to my relatives who are still waiting for the 'gift-that's-in-the-mail'.
Especially, thanks to the Kellehers, Hurds, Tinkles, Krackles, and others who included me in their family when I needed one. It's snowing in Minnesota and I'm leaving tomorrow at 6am to try to find someplace without a White Christmas! Next year is going to be swell.
Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2010-December-08 10:54
Gang aft agley. That isn't the exact way I learned it but that's the way it is.
This bit of Ode to a Mouse is pertinent because my plans to write something meaningful on this blog and wrap up the San Francisco K101 portion of My Story havegang aft agley.
Last night in the first step of this new-found ambition, I decided to do something I rarely do...cook for myself. In some other place I have written about a pasta dish I developed over the years that I loosely refer to as goulash. When I was working in Green Bay I looked forward to Saturday nights with mouth watering anticipation. It was, along with Sunday, a night off and what could be better than mountains of food, eaten lying on the floor in front of the TV?
The food was a pasta al forno with a meat sauce that included mushrooms, green pepper, onions, garlic, and celery, layered with macaroni, mozzarella, jack, and Parmesan cheese and baked to bubbly. Add some French bread and cold milk (no wine please) and I was in gluttony heaven.
Last night I decided to make the above, but with a little judicious editing so I wasn't lumbered with enough hot-dish to feed Napoleon's Army as it marched through Lombardy. I fried the hamburger, added the appropriate 'stuff' and created the base sauce. I boiled the pasta and carefully layered all the ingredients. I had succeeded in producing enough for too much to eat in the first serving and too little to eat in the re-heating. It went in the oven to get bubbling and I buttered and garlic'ed my French Bread and got it going in the toaster oven. With no milk on hand (or Chianti) I mixed 2 quarts of Crystal Lite Pink Lemonade. A bit later, it was time to eat. I paused my TV show and moved into the kitchen to load up the trough.
The trough in this case was a tray I bought at Ikea that makes it easy to eat in front of the television. On the tray, I put the eating utensils, extra Parmesan, Tabasco, and a glass for the Pink Lemonade. The lemonade being freshly made was too warm so I filled the glass with some ice-cubes from the fridge. While I waited for the final browning of the pasta concoction in the oven, I grabbed the Ajax, sprinkled it on the pan I used to brown the meat, etc, and cleaned it off. (To get ahead of things) Then I used my Ikea hot-gloves to pull out the hot-dish and place it on the top of the stove. I took the plate off the tray and filled it to heaping at the stove, turned an placed it on the tray. I took the pitcher of Pink Lemonade and filled the glass. This is when I noticed that the ice took up so much of the volume of the glass that there were barely two or three small gulps of lemonade in the glass. This is when I took the pitcher of pink liquid and added it to the tray. Totally unbalancing the entire thing. The tray flipped up like a teeter-totter, the lemonade crashing to the floor followed in split-seconds by the plate of pasta. When I tried to grab things to prevent disaster, the container of Ajax tipped onto the floor adding a dusting of aqua powder to make sure the 5 second rule would not apply.
After using words of an ungentlemanly nature, I attempted to rescue something edible. While on my knees I smelled the French bread turning to charcoal in the broiler.
Thirty minutes later, I glumly ate the too-little remainder sans Garlic bread and with water. Since dinner last night I've been so depressed I just can't face the blog or My Story.
Maybe I'll Turn Over A New Leaf
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2010-December-03 11:12
I came to town to help my older brother celebrate his 80th birthday. His oldest boy did a fine job in surprising him with a dinner for family and friends. It was hard for me to accept an 80 year old brother. I just realized that hes 36 years older than me.
I have to go pick up my Lipitor and Lithium. At least two of my major organs are totally fucked up.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2010-November-25 08:34
Not that anyone will see this anytime soon, considering how infrequently I blog, but I got the bug to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. It brings back some good memories. Especially a few big meals in Modesto at my house and the time in San Francisco when I decided to cook at 10am and managed to serve by 3pm.
And the sad fact is....I don't much like turkey. The gravy I could bathe in.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2010-October-30 12:09
Well,here I am...still alive. I was sitting here with my great nephew and he actually persuaded me to say hello. So, a 9 year old is better at posting than his old uncle. Got to go now..I promised him he could get a tattoo.
Welcome to September!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2010-September-07 20:14
Just a quick note to say hello. Missed the State Fair in Minnesota this year. That means that next year I'll really be Jonesing for a Pronto Pup. A good fan and friend from the old days sent me some slides he took on a visit to KDWB in 1971. You'll find them in my Flickr photo stream if you click here. Hope you enjoy them and I'll be back to write here soon. Today i was verbally attacked at the grocery store and my fragile psyche is still processing it. After I've had a long talk with my therapist, I'll try to get the courage to share it with you all. Take care!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2010-August-18 20:42
Back when I was living in Modesto in 1980...San Francisco during most of or parts of the next couple of years and at home in Tacoma, Washington, I thought my parties...or entertainments...had a certain style. At some point back in the Twin Cities while giving parties in my 16th floor apartment I moved from the BYOB and chips and dips parties that seemed to be standard fare. I now realize that my pretensions to style were ludicrous. There didn't feature nose-picking contests but they were High Tea with the Queen either. Also, I don't consider myself naive. I just realized this is wandering all over the place. That's what happens when you try to watch America's Got Talent and blog at the same time. The point of this is that someone, tonight, told a joke and I didn't get it. Mainly I didn't get it because I wasn't up on some of the latest fads. Here is the joke:
Two ladies bought a lottery ticket together and they won 10,000 dollars to split. One lady says that she was going to get a face lift. The second lady says she was going to get her ass-hole bleached. The first lady says, "I don't think your husband will look very good as a blond."
I had no idea there was such a procedure. How would one know if they needed anal bleaching? I suppose someone could tell you, but if it is difficult to tell someone they need a breath mint, how hard must it be to say....and while I'm at it, you could use a little butt bleach. That reminds me of the guy who took a bath in laundry soap and all his things came out whiter and brighter than ever before. Also, can one assume that if a person doesn't floss, needs to use some hair conditioner, and should stop biting their nails that they also are suffering anal blight? Remember the special lighting in Joan Crawford movies that kept her saggy-neck in shadow? I wonder if candle-light would make things look better under there. Well. I did spend some time on the stage and Max Factor can make anything good. I just have to make sure I keep the make-up sponges separate.
Another Month! Another Blog!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2010-August-16 09:10
I can't believe it has been a month since I last let you all (anyone?)know that I'm still alive. Just a comment, but isn't fall the best season of them all in Minnesota? Anyway, I checked my Rob Sherwood email and noticed that Moon had gotten a password for commenting on this blog. Oops! I better call a lawyer. Speaking of the Chinese....(That is quite the non-sequitor since Moon isn't Chinese and I wasn't speaking of them anyway...but now I shall do)
Just once in a while I have an urge for ice cream. Real ice cream...not soft serve. And certainly not the soy-based junk they have at so many places. In San Francisco, there is something special about getting the ice-cream urge, going out, walking by half a dozen hookers, three or four winos, and at least one urinator, to the bodega on the corner for a pint. I am sure some of that ice cream has been there since Feinstein was mayor but I buy it anyway. (If you want the fresh stuff you must donate to hezzbolah...sorry for the racist Arab comment...I mean to be trashing the Chinese)
This bodega is run by a Chinese family and most of the time, the clerk is eight or nine years old and quite fluent in English but not this time. I grabbed my pint of chocolate chip and paid the amah behind the counter. It takes about 25 seconds to walk up the hill to my front door.I was just into the lobby, waiting for the elevator, and gazing anticipatorilly at my ice cream when I realize I had grabbed chocolate chip MINT instead of regular chocolate chip. Oops! I returned to the store, made my way to the freezer. There was no regular chocolate chip. I was forced to grab a Rocky Road. At the counter, the old amah had been replaced by an old Chinese man who wanted to charge me for the RR. I explained why I wanted to switch in careful pigeon English "Me takee ice cream but no wantee...changee".... The man answered that no can change because how he know I hadn't tainted the mint chocolate chip. I explained to him that I had bought it 45 seconds earlier and he aid...."me no see"....After a few seconds I gave up and just left the mint ice cream on the counter and walked out with the Rockie Road. I haven't been back since. I am sure my picture is now posted with the legend. "Ice Cream Thief" and they are saving the melted mint choc. chip for evidence should I ever be taken to trial.
The Rockie Road wasn't very good. Lots of marshmallow but only one nut in the whole pint!
Not including the nut who ate the whole thing in about 2 minutes.
MY STORY Sputters Again
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2010-July-15 21:49
I just checked and thanks to webmaster Mike, there is a new episode in the saga. It is self explanatory and the neat progression from San Francisco to Tacoma/Seattle is interrupted while I fill in some blanks. My memory of my landlady while I was at Brown was enhanced in an email from a friend who visited my basement. I didn't know Dalmatians got huge. And just like their masteress, they were nosy as hell. Literally. Their noses spent more time in my crotch than my Hanes. Every night I'd open the side door, let myself into the kitchen, and submit myself to some inappropriate dog noodling. Those spotted beasts gave great nasal.
Hope you enjoy and I can't wait for what I come up with next.
PS: The dancing this year on So You Think You Can Dance is spectacular. Later.
A Week In Southern Minnesota
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2010-July-07 14:06
This is GREAT weather. It reminds me of a good humid day in Florida. And today the skies are cloudy, black at time (non-racist comment), and the rumble of thunder. I'm sitting in a gazebo, a Laurie King book handy, my mp3 player around my neck and a radio handy. I'm drinking diet Mountain Dew but soon some wandering woman will ply me with beer or wine. Since I had the time I thought it might be nice to give you some of my observations. Consider me as someone who spent a lot of time in near-by parts of Minnesota giving me an historical perspective. First of all, I should mention KDWB. In the past I've been hard on that station but I take some of it back. In fact, in a lot of ways, it hasn't changed that much from those old days. When you really get down to it whats the difference between Donny Osmond and Justin Bieber. Except that Donny was a virgin and Justin already has three or four kids. I heard Justin's latest 4,356 times over the week-end. That sort of limited the play-list and they could only play OMG about 3200 times. I have to apologize to anybody who has XM radio. I've had terrible things to say about sattelite radio and now I have to retract it all. Anytime I can drive around the Twin Cities listening to BROADWAY!!!! Give me show tunes and I'm a happy man. There I was in the drive thru at DQ and blaring from my radio is..."Beauty And the Beast.....a tale..etc...' Give me a Butterfinger Blizzard and Angela Landsbury and in my car it BONER TIME! Mosquitos! What did Minnesota do wrong to get them? The Como Park Zoo. I don't want to sound racist but....I have a question. Does anybody caucasion ever go to Como Park Zoo? I mean this is St. Paul for god's sake where are the drunken Irish? The zooteria...or zoosnackatron...or whatever the food place just totally sucks. $10 for one mini-donuts and a cheese curd? How can those animals manage on prices like that? Well that's it....oh wait a minute....not to be racist or anything but ....wtf is the deal with the check-out counter at Sam's Club and my kilbasa?
Happy 4th of July
Posted by Rob Sherwood Sunday, 2010-July-04 14:31
I thought you might like to know that I'm alive and kicking. Well....let's just say I'm alive. I have some big surprises for any readers who really really care comming up on my one year anniversary of not adding to My Story. At least I have written here once in a great while. I added a couple new pix to the FLickr page...just go to robsherwood.com...click on the pictures tab and you'll find some new things. Warning to cindy in CA....The Whoopie Woman returns. It doesn't really seem like the 4th of July. At least I'm spending it with some conservatives. It is nice that everyone agrees with me....but not very stimulating. I am going to sort of miss the fireworks in San Franisco. By one pm I usually already had my blanket out and was jealously guarding my spot with bags of snacks, a couple of books, and a supply of illicit drugs and alcohol. Tonight it looks like fireworks at Valley Fair....an amusement park in the Twin Cities-Minnesota. It's hot as hell....I love it....humid too....love that also....Take care....later.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2010-June-19 20:58
Just a quick warning. JONAH HEX is the worse movie I have ever seen. Do NOT...I repeat....DO NOT go see it. Plus....the popcorn upset my stomach. Rancid popcorn oil you think?
This is Total Crap!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2010-June-15 17:04
I turned on the TV a moment ago to watch So You Think You Can Dance and America's Got Talent and instead.......Obama! Something about some oil thingy...or something. He's difficult to understand because of the negro dialect he sometimes uses....(according to Harry Reed). Maybe there is a Gene Rayburn repeat on the Game Channel.
I suffered through the whole speech.....bottom line:
Triple the cost of Gas...Double the cost of electricity...
What A Week......END
Posted by Rob Sherwood Sunday, 2010-June-06 21:02
Damn! I have to answer some email. While I was lamenting my iffy computer, my old buddy from Green Bay....now old and nearly senile....Mark (Marco) B...was in Duluth shuffling his daughter around or something. (I make note of these messages....do I have to pass a test too?) Because I was in Duluth for my birthday many assume I am still...In a way I am happy that Marco didn't have my phone # because if I had gotten a cell phone call and been miles distant when answering, I would have been irritated and sad simultaneously. Marco...we'll have to make plans. We'll meet in some Duluth restaurant. I'm sure I'll recognize you. You haven't changed much since 1966....have you? Also I heard from another Brown Buddy. I'm not being racial here, but actually referring to that Broadcast School from long long ago and far far away. Bill D...from Eveleth. Hockey player don't you know and career broadcast newsman. Retired now and living in Florida. On my list....(call). Claudia in Washington. OMG! I have to write soon before the excess underarm skin reaches her knees. (She can always wear cafcans...or Kaftans....of Kafcans.....or whatever the F...they are called) There are others....Kathy B, Cedar Rapids, Whoopie Woman, etc...etc....etc.....Come to think of it, instead of writing THIS shit I should have been answering mail. Too late now.
I AM AMAZED
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2010-June-04 06:54
Just a moment ago I tried to get 'on-line' and...wonders of all wonders....it worked. A quick story. You might remember I was visited by a virus back a while ago and it totally screwed up my computers. It took a re-install to get things back to acceptable. Well, it seems that the little visitor just never went away and it has returned to harass me. I have been unable to get on-line since Monday...until just moments ago. Whether I will be able to duplicate things in the next few days...until another re-install...OR....some new computers....is the question. So....if I seem to be away for a bit...don't panic....I'm not dead....I can still ride my bike....the weather here is beautiful...and thanks to the internet where HERE is really doesn't matter. Take care.......and later
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2010-May-17 14:16
There is something wonderful about being the shining knight on the big white horse. Some damsel of a radio station is in trouble and the call goes out to someone...anyone....to ride forth, lance in hand, to smite smite the black knight and gather unto your bosom those Arbitron-bearing peasants.
Several places in My Story I have tried to describe how fun it is to listen to a radio station, list the perceived deficiencies, and swoop in to make wholesale changes. I will tell you this; it's easier to fix than it is to begin from scratch. In the theater I've thought about it often. I've gone to in-execrable productions that would have been fixable. Replace a character here, improve a set design, spend some time with stage business and voila!...a mistake is a triumph. There's a show I watch often called Holmes On Homes. This Canadian guy fixes the mistakes of previous contractors. He takes a Yugo and turns it into a Mercedes. Wonderful fun.
All this comes to mind because I have decided I would like to have a "do-over". This is not to say I'm disappointed in my life, but if it is fun to do over a radio station, a stage production, or a Toronto bungalow, think how much fun it would be to fix up your life.
At the top of things to fix: Be nicer to chimpanzees.
I met my first chimp in Austin, Minnesota. I was doing the Uncle Rob Show on KMMT-TV and the chimp was part of a petting zoo, or exotic traveling show at the local county fair. It's easy to be up-staged by a chimp. The in-studio audience was enthralled, I was enthralled...come to think about it....I think the chimp was enthralled. When the interview was over, the hairy thing leaned over, patted my cheek, and planted a huge chimp-lipped kiss on my mouth. It was at that moment when I truly understood how people can fall in love with the 'inner-person' and that the out-ward appearance is only skin deep. Don't get ahead of yourself. I didn't want to breed little chimp-Robs. I just think in a long-term relationship, I could have talked to her and she would have understood me.
Jump ahead twenty years or so. I was a regular at the San Francisco Zoo before they made their animal-friendly-improvements. They had a big cement island with a chimp family in residence. A 30-foot moat separated them from the gawking humans. They hated me. Seriously. I would do nothing and they would see me and (as Eugene Cussins on Escape to Chimp Eden says) begin to display. Their fur would fluff up, they'd begin rocking side to side, and sooner rather than later, they start ripping pieces of bark and scraps of wood from the logs scattered about for playing. They'd throw things at me and I'd laugh like a fool and they screech and...display. When I was really feeling silly, I would rock back in forth in imitation and not only would the chimps toss things at me, and screech, but they'd dash nasty notes on their typewriters and beg for Valium. Well, one time all the noise attracted a huge crowd. My chimp intimidation was so subtle only I (and the animals) knew the cause. This was when a couple of the hairy beasts decided to up the ante. When they disappeared into their hut, my suspicions were aroused to the point that I moved from the front row ground zero to farther back in the crowd. I was right! These two chimps had gone inside to visit some chimp-loo and came out the door armed with monkey shit. Next thing you know the shit was flying, the audience was scattering in panic, and much to the credit of our simian cousins...direct hits were being scored.
It was at this point the zoo keepers arrived and lured the chimps away from public view. Worrying that they might be getting a description of the serial chimp-teaser, I moved away to tease the giraffes. The last I remember hearing were the sounds of a mother berating a father for abandoning the baby in the stroller to the chimp-shit-deluge. (She was wiping the baby's face with a tissue!)
So...another thing to fix. First, I would have been more realistic about my future with the County Fair chimp. What chance does anyone have for true love with a carnie. Next, I would realize, no matter how nice you are, not everyone is going to like you...so I would have spent more time with the lemurs and left the chimps alone. And finally, I would have sacrificed my own body to prevent the chimp-poop assault on that little baby, saving it from growing up, the child of divorce.
It would be nice to fix a few things.
Here Comes The Weekend!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Friday, 2010-May-14 21:10
Well! Well! I just got back from my Northern Minnesota Round Table. Lots of politics tonight with a couple of our younger ones still beating the Obama drum. Damn the University of Duluth (Minnesota) for filling these heads with such mush. I am convinced that all the weed and LSD taken by the parents of the current generation has caused the head-bones of humans to finally knit together much later than in generations past. Being so prone to serious brain trauma has caused fuzzy political thinking, a sense of entitlement, and the total inability to get a Taco Bell Drive-thru order correct. Eventually, I feel like all the "seniors" are beating up on the "whipper-snappers" and if that keeps up my Round Table will quickly devolve into a Mall Food-Court Seniors Table. Before I go to bed tonight I want to watch a couple of episodes of Escape to Chimp Eden. That is a very good TV show and if I can scrape together the money I would love to visit South Africa and the Jane Goodall Ape Thingy. When you get older you find hair growing in the most unusual places. If it weren't for regular and dedicated clipping, scissoring, and plucking, all the fur would make the inmates of Chimp Eden welcome me as their American cousin. Jane Goodall would touch me inappropriately. It would be an unfortunate situation. Remember last year when the "pet" chimp ate the woman's face? I was sick about it. Not only did I feel sorry for the innocent woman (friend of owner) who suffered the attack, but I felt so sorry for that innocent animal. If I weren't so tired I would tell you about my San Francisco Zoo chimpanzee story. I'll do it later. So, we talked politics, Chimp Eden, travel to South Africa, train rides between South African and Zimbabwe ..or some other dark continental country, and Ricky Martin has come out and admitted he is gay.
....in other news, Angelina Jolie is nuts and the sky is blue.
"And he bangs, he bangs Oh baby When he moves, he moves I go crazy 'Cause he looks like a flower but he stings like a bee Like every BOY in history he bangs, he bangs....................."
Another Week! Another Glee!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2010-May-11 20:24
Can it get any better? I am sorry, my friends, but there was cheering and standing O's at tonight's Glee Watching Party. There's another really good show...Justified. On FX.....and one of my favorites but the scheduling is all fucked up and I just don't understand what they are thinking....but Escape to Chimp Eden. I just realized that I have stories. (I hate your damn stories - Moon) It is only 10:30 but I'm tired and I've got a good book...so....to bed. Maybe I'll remember to do the stories tomorrow. Or not
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2010-May-04 22:14
I know....I know. I go on and on and on ad nauseum but I can't help it. Granted, I can do without Olivia Newton John and Let's Get Physical...but, she popped by KSTP in 1977 and she was very nice and incredibly pretty. In fact, now that I think about it, I saw ONJ a couple of times. Sometime in 1975 I went to a radio convention of some sort in Las Vegas. Damn! I was just thinking about it and I haven't been back to Las Vegas since. What a change. The hotel-casino I stayed at was one of the oldies and I think it was torn down, rebuilt, and torn down again. Anyway...the 'big show' at the time was The Smothers Brothers with Olivia Newton John as the opening act. Maybe it was 1974? Of course some record promoter took a bunch to see her show. "Please Mr. Please ..don't play B-17". I did and I am still ashamed. What the fuck was "B-17" doing on U100? You see...all you U100 fans only remember the Jethro Tull and bad-ass rock and forget Olivia Newton John. What else do I remember from that radio convention? I rented a car and drove to Hoover Dam. I drove across it. Can you still drive across it or are there some terrorist restrictions now? I played roulette and actually won about 500 dollars. I cashed in my chips and (drunkenly) fell asleep on the bed in my hotel room at four in the afternoon. I was pretty high while I was playing the roulette too and it wasn't until a couple of years later I learned that I had really lost but some record guy kept replenishing my stack of chips. That's probably why I played that f'ing "Please Mr. Please...." A couple of hundreds fell out of my pocket during my nap and when the maid came to turn down the bed and put some chocolate on my pillow she found the money and turned it in to security. I got the money back and the maid offered to put a sheet on my bed and I told if she sheet on my bed I would Keeel her. (ha ha ha...heard that the first time when I was in the 2nd grade). Wait a minute! I just realized the other big GLEE song was Run Joey Run and that was another U100 mistake in 1975! This is getting serious. I'm looking at 50-75,000 extra years in purgatory. Seriously, I think we played Run Joey Run more as a joke than as a serious thing. Or not. We used to have a live studio audience at FM104 on Fridays and I think I dance around the studio to You Can't Touch This. (I think I have embarrassed myself in ever city I've been) I can't write anymore. It's 12:13am...I'm tired and I have to go to iTunes and download the GLEE songs....."Daddy please don't..." Later!
What A Week!
Posted by Rob Sherwood Monday, 2010-May-03 12:40
Sorry I haven't been around for a week or so...no excuses. If something interesting happens in the next 5 hours....I'll add something before I head off to bed.
Nothing to See Here! Move Along Now.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Wednesday, 2010-April-21 21:41
Riding down Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, I tried to grasp both the changes and the similarities to the downtown I remember from the 70's. A couple of 24 hour main-stays were gone. Shinder's at the corner of 6th and Hennepin. I know it moved to 7th & Hennepin when I needed something to read at midnight, the old one was my destination. Plantation Pancakes. Gone. I didn't eat there often...maybe a dozen times over 20 years and I never had their pancakes. I did know someone who was a waitress for a bit...Paula Fagerwold...what a wonderful, gentle, soul. I even forgive her for writing my name and phone-number on the uni-sex bathroom wall. "Likes them long." I think I saw Augies and the Gay 90's. Maybe not. I know there was a gay bar on 5th. The first time I'd ever been in a gay bar was that one with Don Bleu, his wife, Ron Geslin (record promoter) and his wife. (You know don't you that straight people always say they go to gay-bars because the music is better....hmmmm) Don tried to get us in without a cover-charge but the only name on the list was Rob Sherwood. At least we all got in for free....and I lost my gay-bar virginity. Years later, in Modesto, a friend tricked me into my second gay-bar venture. Rather than wait for him in the parking lot (while he ran an errand in the BRAVE BULL) I agreed to go in with him. He assured me no one would even notice me. Less than 30 seconds after walking through the back door, at least three people had said, "Hi Rob", "Hey...Rob Sherwood..wow!"....or "Didn't I see you at a bar in Minneapolis with Don & Ron?" On another visit to the BB...(they had the best!!! dance mix...) we snuck Moon into the place. Moon was part of my Modesto FM104 Morning Crew and the morning show producer. He was also a gentle soul and was so out of place and uncomfortable in that dive. That was then.
I didn't start tonight with a plan to write about gay bars but there you have it. Must be because I watched GLEE earlier on DVR and as everyone knows....watching THAT television show will make you gay.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Thursday, 2010-April-15 13:41
My Mom died on April 15th. Some years I don't remember that. I'd rather think of the day she was born. Or ANY day other than the day she was gone. Fitting that this horrible date is also the day the 'gubmint' picks our pockets. They are having a tea party locally. I'm going to limp down and check it out. Even though I agree with much of the Tea Party agenda, when a bunch of them get together I think a model railroad just might break out. (That is a very inside joke...) I had lunch early today and wouldn't you know it....someone called and wanted to take me to Old Country Buffet. I love lunch-talk...so I agreed to go but not to eat. That was an interesting experience. Lots of very fat people. There was a very fat guy at a nearby table who was celebrating spring in Duluth by wearing a tank-top. He was so hairy he was wearing an XXXL just to accommodate his bushiness. Buried in the foliage were a lot of tattoos. If he lost weight do you think the tattoos would shrink (like writing on a balloon) and with less square-inches of skin to cover, the fur get even thicker completely blocking out the skin art unless you wanted to groom him like a chimpanzee looking for tidbits? It was disgusting enough that I longed for someone in a wheel-chair with a urine bag to block my bread-pudding line-of-sight. I'm off. The festivities kick off at 4pm and I don't want to miss the beginning where they drag their nuts across each others' faces.
Posted by Rob Sherwood Tuesday, 2010-April-13 20:09
Usually I don't blog about the radio...except when I am being nostalgic or when something gets my ire aroused. I listen to very little music radio. It is just too depressing. When I want radio entertainment, it is usually something of the talk radio variety that gets my attention. Several of my favs I listen to on line so wherever I go, they go with me. But when I'm in Duluth, the local talk station gets my blood pressure up every time. The guy on locally, from 7am to 9am, has been on Twin Ports radio since I was a kid. Not to make a pun, but these days, he is just 'phoning' it in. Its like he has 25 3 X 5 cards and just reads them in order Monday thru Friday. Still, I listen. Following that bit of local arcana is a rank amateur and most days his rank amateur side-kick. He isn't a professional broadcaster and admits it but that isn't an excuse. Some old-timers have been in radio so long they have almost earned the right to 'phone' it in. The other local guy should be ashamed to take his pay-check. Not because he is bad. Not because he is an amateur. My complaint is...he isn't trying. He is just lazy. That's enough of that. Fucking Duluth. Who cares?
Trials & Tribulations
Posted by Rob Sherwood Saturday, 2010-April-10 19:59
I left home yesterday with every intention of getting an IPad. My brother just got back from Las Vegas and I wanted to get together to hear the latest family dirt. If a restaurant features a buffet it ranks high on my brother's to-do list, so we passed on Buffalo Wild Wings in favor of the Sammy's Pizza buffet. (For those Californiasians and Bohunkians who are not familiar with Sammy's Pizza, its a local favorite that is neither the best or worst. It was the first pizza I tasted and I grew up eating it and grew old in California dreaming about it.) In downtown Duluth, I had to wait while a kid on a skateboard zipped by on the brick-paved First Street. For a moment I had a little nostalgia for San Francisco when similar kids on skateboards would careen down Jones Street. The buffet was good and we left on my IPad quest plus a stop for stuff at Sam's Club. On the way, we edged thru a left turn behind some college-looking kids on bikes, and later passed a guy with a back-pack jogging UP-HILL!!! After seeing all this youthful energy, I was thoroughly pissed off. Damn it. If you're going to be so young and healthy keep it to your fucking self! At Sam's Club I ran into the teacher who directed me in a play when I was in 11th grade. (More about that another time) Mr. Obst was his name and he is old. At first he didn't recognize me, but when I mentioned that play all the proper synapses fired and he remembered it all. On the way out of the Sam's Club parking lot my legs hurt, my back hurt, my knees hurt, my shoulder hurt, my brain hurt, the sun was too bright, I was having chest pains, my teeth itched, my tongue was fuzzy, and I felt a little acid-reflux. If I'd had a gun, I'd have found that up-hill jogger and scared the shit out of him! I skipped the IPad shopping, went directly home, and had some ice cream.
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