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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a quick hello to wish you a Happy New Year. (Or as I just mistyped, a Happy New Yar... which I suppose is appropriate if you are a pirate or just in the general mood for Revenge.) Sorry I've been gone for so long, but I wanted to stop by let you know that this blog will return in the new year. Thanks to friends Mike and Jon who (besides representing 40% of the audience) both requested the blog's return so they would have something to read at work.

I think we can agree that the first 10 years of the 2000s were trying. Part of that is the growing older and the increased inevitabilities that come with that, part of it was living in a country where things genuinely seem a lot worse off than they were 10 years ago, but let us all try to move on the best we can.

In case you were wondering, there is a reason why things slowed down (er, stopped) here this year, and it's also the reason why, no matter what else, 2009 will be remembered fondly around these parts.

Here she is:

Friday, April 17, 2009

from Jane to Jared to Jarhand to Jealous Guy

Day 1001, Session 159:
Tuesday March 24th - Running around.
First song: Jane by Barenaked Ladies
Last full song: Jared Floyd by Moxy Fruvous
Progress: 3586-3596 of 8565
Total Songs Heard: 2054

I have 4 versions of songs titled Jane. 2 by BNL, 2 by Ben Folds Five. Last football season I met a girl in a bar named Jane. We talked about Ultimate Fighting, something I apparently know just enough about to have a conversation about in a bar. I realized as she left the bar that she was only the second Jane I could recall knowing in my entire life. (The other Jane is my friend Mike's mom, so I didn't even know her as Jane, I knew her as Mrs. Mike's mom. (Not actually true, I called her by her last name, but I don't need)

When did Jane become such an uncommon name? Was there some evil Jane that I've just blocked out of my mind because she was sooooo evil? I mean, I understand why I didn't grow up knowing any Adolphs, but what's the deal with Jane?

Jane - Barenaked Ladies

Day 1007, Session 160:
Monday March 30th - Flying back from Vegas.
First song: Jarhand by Immaculate Machine
Last full song: Jealous Guy by Collective Soul
Progress: 3597-3602 of 8565
Total Songs Heard: 2060

This was on the way home from Vegas. It was another great trip with the guys. It's amusing to see the debauchery reclaiming Vegas after the mid-90s attempt to turn the town into some sort of family destination. In the year 2000 (in the year 2000...) we made our second trip and stayed at the Excalibur hotel and casino. The place was crawling with kids. You couldn't get a seat at a $5 blackjack table cause 5-year olds were taking up all the seats.

This time (I believe this was my 11th trip) we ended up back at Excalibur for the first time since that trip in 2000. Excalibur at night used to be mostly dead since all the kiddies were in bed, and all the adults had gone swanky dance clubs that wouldn't let me in even if I was willing to pay the $20 cover (which I'll never EH-VER pay.) Suddenly, Excalibur at night is a happening place. They have 'dancers' on a stage right in the middle of the casino floor. The tables directly surrounding the dancers were stuffed to the gills with dudes who thought the only thing better than losing money was losing money while watching strippers stay dressed.

I avoided those tables like the plague...

In an alarming sign of my continued oldness I even turned down the limo guy who was offering to drive us to and get us into whatever strip club we wanted. Sigh... I'm there to gamble and drink, boobs just distract me from my goals.

The latter half of the previous sentence should probably be engraved on my headstone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vegas Time

Away in Vegas with the boys. Be back next week.

In the meantime, if you're a Barenaked Ladies fan, check out their first show as a 4-person band. I'd be lying if I didn't say it's rough, but I like the fact that they put it out there for us to hear.

You can download the concert
here. It's available until March 27th.

If you have a moment, send some good gambling karma my way. It'd sure be nice to come home with a slightly heavier wallet than I left with (for a reason other than packing my wallet with a bunch of hooker cards I picked up on the strip.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

from Jackass to James Lundeen...

Day 995, Session 158:
Monday March 16th & Wednesday March 18th - Running.
First song: Jackass by Green Day
Last full song: James Lundeen's Christmas by Garrison Keillor
Progress: 3547-3563 of 8507
Total Songs Heard: 2043

Observant readers among you may have noticed that the song total jumped over 1000 songs. I added a whole shit ton of music through from acts playing at SXSW 2009. If I were a really cool music blogger I'd be at SXSW 2009, but it's debatable if I'm
actually a music blogger at all (I'm going with not really, although I was invited to a SXSW party this year.)

Smart readers may ask, "Why the hell would you add 1000+ songs when you just determined that you won't be finishing this project for 5 more years?" That is a fine question. So here's the thing... this project is never going to make me famous, and it's highly doubtful that it will ever make me a good writer, but the important thing is: this project gives me something to do. So 1000 more songs = 75 m
ore entries or so. I just hope that I can come up with 75 some more entries to write about.

Now on to today. Well today and Monday and Tuesday.

The last few days it suddenly got nice in Chicago. The first nice weather of the year always make me itchy. I'm not a practicing manic depressive, but the first nice springy days of the year always leave me feeling manic. We had one nice day a few weeks ago and I went for a 40 minute walk. This time we strung three nice days and I took it a little farther.

Monday I took a staggering 15-minute run. I say staggering because I had been sick a lot of the weekend and fasted most of Sunday and Monday in an attempt to find some sort of equilibrium. Running when you're out of shape is hard enough, running when you've only eaten half a can of chicken
noodle soup in the previous 36 hours is a recipe for disaster. Basically I ran for 5 minutes, felt like shit, walked for 5 minutes and then ran 5 more until I felt like I was going to die. Good times. That's why I don't have a separate entry for Monday, I only heard* 4 songs before giving up and packing it in.

Tuesday was a good day. I've lived in Chicago for 8 years now, and I've never gone down to Lake Michigan by myself. What can I say? I'm not a big fan of lakes. Tuesday was different though. It was so nice, that I just had to get out there. I also had to get out there because my cousin sent me Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley came with a letter requesting that we take pictures of Stanley around Chicago. Never one to let the children down, I took advantage of the 70 degree day to get some shots of Stanley around Chicago. Here's what I came up with...

Stanley at the Lake:

Stanley and the skyline:
Stanley at the zoo, which was closed :(
Stanley at Wrigley:
I figure doing a good job on this Stanley thing is one more indication that I'm ready to do thing for kids and therefore totally prepared for fatherhood... you know, except for the being totally unprepared part.

I didn't actually listen to any music on Tuesday because I was on my bike the whole time and iPod listening while biking just isn't safe. All in all I spent about 2 hours biking around (and another hour shooting and taking in the beautiful day.) By the end the legs... they were sore. So sore at the knees that I had trouble sleeping last night. I will overcome.

Wednesday should have been a day of rest, but I've been at rest for way too long. The kid is now 3 months out, and part of the reason I've been out running/biking around the last 2 days is because the kid is coming. When this project is done in 5 years, I don't want to be so out of shape that I'm unable to keep up with the perpetual motion machine that is a little kid. The ass groove on my couch is deep enough that I figure it'll take me 5 years to get into good enough shape to keep up with a kid, so instead of resting on Wednesday, I went out again for a run. This one was much less disastrous. I was able to run the entire 25 minutes. If I keep at it, I may just be able to keep up with this life yet.

*'heard' may be an overstatement, mostly I heard my heart pounding in my ears.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

from It's Time They Knew to Jack Hinks

Day 982, Session 157:
Thursday March 5th - Grocery run.
First song: It's Time They Knew by The Swimmers
Last full song: Jack Hinks (Live) by Great Big Sea
Progress: 2959-2982 of 7175
Total Songs Heard: 2026

It Ain't Love by House of Lords, please show yourself out. It's funny how hard they tried with this particular metal ballad. There's a fair amount of guitar riffing, an 'emotional' male solo voice, a shouting chorus helping on the refrain, and of course a wailing mid-song guitar solo and yet none of those pieces seem to fit together particularly well. Deleted, but saved here in case you've really been looking for this tune to complete you House of Lords collection.

It Ain't Love - House of Lords

The other event for the day was moving out of the 'I's (last song Ixtapa by Rodridgo y Gabriela) and into the 'J's (first song J Smith by Travis).

Since I recently passed 2000 and have hit an alphabet transition, it's time to look at some stats.

2026 songs in 982 days = 2.06 songs per day
7175-2026 = 5149 tracks to go
Of 2982 tracks so far, 956 (2982-2026) have been
skipped/podcasts/added later/whatever = 32.1% skipped but this number is way high owing to the large increase in songs thanks to the library grift. So let's lower this to 20%.
5149-(5149*20%) = approximately 4119 songs to go accounting for skipped tracks
4119 songs/2.06 songs a day = 2000 days to go (5.5 years)
Estimated date of project completion = September 2014

Holy crap, my kid will be 5. Perhaps doing stats was a bad idea.

Friday, March 06, 2009

from 1001-2000: Mix Tape 2k.2

To send you into the weekend, please enjoy the second disc of the 1001-2000 mix cd.

Mix 2k.2 - Hurt to Into The Mystic

Hurt - Johnny Cash
I'd Run Away - The Jayhawks
I'm A Believer - The Monkees
I've Gotta Get a Message to You - Moxy Früvous
I Feel Fantastic - Jonathan Coulton
I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You - Tom Waits
I Need More Love - Robert Randolph & The Family Band
I Need You Back - Ben Kweller
If I Had $1000000 - Barenaked Ladies
If It's The Beaches - The Avett Brothers
If She Wants Me - Belle & Sebastian
If The Creeks Don't Rise Sunparlour Players
Ikea - Jonathan Coulton
In Between Days - Ben Folds
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Curve (Bonus) - The Avett Brothers
Inflatable Amy - the Argument
Into The Mystic - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

Grab the file here and have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

from It's Coming Down to It's The End Of The World...

Day 974, Session 156:
Wednesday February 25th - Grocery run.
First song: It's Coming Down by Cake
Last full song: It's The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.
Progress: 2925-2936 of 7114
Total Songs Heard: 2026

Which is worse: a group goes on hiatus with no real intention ever to return (Fruvous) or a group member leaves by "mutual agreement" but the rest of the group stays together (BNL)?

Although it happened over a week ago now, I'm still confounded by the whole Steven Page has left Barenaked Ladies thing. As far as I can tell, this leaves BNL about 50% down on songs they can perform live without Steve. Sure, maybe I traditionally have like "Ed songs" better, but still, what kind of BNL show will it be knowing you have no chance of hearing Break Your Heart, or Old Apartment, or Brian Wilson? Oh yeah and how the hell are they going to do If I Had $1000000? That one is a duet. Actually, I think Kaylor and I should now join the group specifically to do that song.

I suppose it's not really a surprising. They've been together for 20 years, and Steve wants to try new things. Nothing wrong with that. I just hope that's all it is. Last year was a very difficult one with Steve's arrest and Ed's plane crash. I hope it really is a move that Steve wanted to make and not a move that the band felt like they had to make. Hopefully VH1 will not have to refilm the ending of the Barenaked Ladies' Behind the Music (they still make those right?) to tell the story of Steve's downward spiral or the group's move to Vegas to open for the all new Celine Dion Canadian Rock Spectacle.

My guess? Both parties will come out of this ok. BNL will continue to make good music even with a noticably different sound. Steve Page will find success in his new ventures, and in a few years, we'll all be able to by tickets to a BNL/Steve summer reunion tour to celebrate 25 years of music. Even if that's not how it works out, they had a heck of a run.

(Side note for obsessive BNL fans like me: Has anyone else noticed the prescient titles of the two new songs from their greatest hits CD? Thanks That Was Fun and It's Only Me (which is sung by Steve.) We all should have seen this coming back in 2001.)

It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland - Live) - Barenaked Ladies
It's Only Me - Barenaked Ladies

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

from It's to It's Christmas Time

Day 969, Session 155:
Friday February 20th - Around the house on general cleaning duty.
First song: It's by King Missile
Last full song: It's Christmas Time (Oh Yeah) by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 2911-2924 of 7112
Total Songs Heard: 2014

My friend Rachel over at Tales From The Deep tagged me on one of those meme things. I've never been tagged before, so why the heck not?

Here's the bit:

The honorees are to list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!

1) I enjoy breaking up bar fights. The look on a drunk angry guy's face when he's trying to jump into a fracas and suddenly a guy my size is standing in his way is hilarious. It always takes the fight out of them, at least it has so far.
2) I ran track in middle school and played tennis in high school because those were two teams you couldn't get cut from.
3) I don't do caffeine.
4) When I'm watching TV (which I do a lot) and characters are acting in some sort of pitiful or stupid manner sometimes I'll get so uncomfortable that I have to stop watching. (Extras was really good at that.)
5) The first time I saw "The Green Mile" in the theater, I wept through the whole thing. Loudly.
6) Sometimes I wish the cops had actually shot me. Nothing life threatening mind you, but getting shot in the leg would have been a nice lawsuit.
7) I grew some kick ass mutton chops while on spring break sophomore year of college. I loved them, and was also convinced that they helped me with the ladies. (When in reality, it was probably the thought that the chops were helping that actually helped (if that makes any sense.)) The Wife says she will shave me in my sleep if I grow them again.
8) If I had unlimited resources, I would travel the world looking for the world's greatest mozzarella stick.
9) I wish I had learned to ice skate. I hope there are classes somewhere that teach parents and kids how to skate together so I can take Gummi.
10) I fear that I will never find any sort of employment that will make me happy. Or actually at this point, any sort of employment.

It's All True - The Lemonheads

(and if you're wondering whether I embarked upon this exercise specifically because that song came up, well, you wouldn't be not right.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

from 1001-2000: Mix Tape 2k.1

As promised, I managed to narrow down the 1000 songs between Everything Matters and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) to about 40. Here are the songs that made the cut for disc one:

Mix 2k.1 - Falling Slowly to Hummingbird

Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Famous Blue Raincoat - Jonathan Coulton
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
February - Dar Williams
Float On - Modest Mouse
Flowers In The Windows - Travis
Fontanelle - Clem Snide
Fred Jones, Part 2 - Ben Folds
Fuckin up my Christmas - mc chris
Ghost - Neutral Milk Hotel
Gimmeakiss - The Avett Brothers
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Gold - Interference
Green Eggs and Ham - Moxy Früvous
Grumpy Old Men Booing - Statler & Waldorf
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Heaven - The Swimmers
Hero of Canton - The Ballad of Jayne - Adam Baldwin
High Enough - Damn Yankees
Hummingbird - Wilco

You can get the mix here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

from Island In The Sun to Istanbul

Day 959, Session 154:
Tuesday February 10th - At home after a nice long walk.
First song: Island In The Sun by Weezer
Last full song: Istanbul by They Might Be Giants
Progress: 2777-2781 of 6850
Total Songs Heard: 2000

Song 1996:
Island In The Sun - Weezer
This was the final song on the cd that played during our wedding dinner. I suppose it would have been more appropriate if we had been honeymooning on an actual island in the sun, instead of going to San Francisco like we did. We did go to Alcatraz, which is an island, while in San Fran but it was cloudy that day. I really like the song because of the awesome Spike Jonze video that goes with it. There are baby animals and chimps for goodness sake.

Song 1997:
Isle Thing - "Weird Al" Yankovic
I love Weird Al. I enjoy Gilligan's Island. I did not enjoy Weird Al's parody of Tone Loc's Wild Thing that retells the story of Gilligan's Island. I feel like every Weird Al cd has two tracks that I just don't like, this is one of them from UHF.

Song 1998:
Isolation - Sponge
I've owned the John Lennon tribute cd "Working Class Hero" since it came out in 1995 and I can honestly say this is the first time I ever remember hearing this song.

Song 1999:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
The song that introduced me to They Might Be Giants and I fell for them immediately. My favorite part of the song is actually the violin. Flood was in constant rotation in the cars of all of my high school friends and this was one of the songs on that made us all sing along at full volume. Added goodness includes the history lesson contained within. I'm pretty sure I got test questions about the original names of New York and Istanbul correct by singing this song in my head. And then of course there was this:

Song 2000:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
The live version from "Severe Tire Damage." Somewhat disappointing due to the lack of violin. The yodeling "OH" section is more impressive live.

And well... that was kind of anticlimactic... what with only needing to listen to 5 songs and 2 of them being the same and me not even liking 2 others. Well, them's the breaks sometimes. The important thing is, I said I was going to do this today and I did. Now I'm going to reward myself with a night of trivia and beer.

Monday, February 09, 2009

10 years ago

I turned 33 last week. 33 really didn't feel any older than 32 until I remembered that it has now been 10 years since I had the best concert experience of my entire life. For some reason, hitting the 10 year anniversary of anything seems a lot longer than 9 years. It must be the extra digit.

February 3rd, 1999 Moxy Fruvous played at Canal Street in Dayton. Canal Street is a venue fits at most 200 people. We got there early and managed to get a seat off to the side of the stage, probably 30 feet away from the band. They started playing sometime around 10:30 and "finished" right at the stroke of midnight. When they came back onstage for their encore the girls I was at the show with (Sarah and Betsy) started yelling that it was my birthday. Then this happened:

My Birthday Medley - Moxy Fruvous

It was awesome. For years it lived on in memory only. Then, thanks to the magic of the internets, a very nice person on the fruhead.com message board sent me a copy of the show. Now I'd like to share that show with you.

Fruvous Live at the Canal Street Tavern - 2/3/1999

If you go strictly by number of concerts attended, Moxy Fruvous is my 2nd all-time favorite band (behind Barenaked Ladies) but sadly they've been on "hiatus" for 9 years. Luckily, archive.org has 45 Fruvous shows ready for downloading and since every Fruvous concert was a new experience (the banter was almost as much fun as the music) it helps fill the void of no new music for years (and probably never again.)


Keep an eye on this space rest of the week... tomorrow, look for a "live" blog as the project hits song 2000. Then the plan is to make the 1001-2000 mix available by the end of the week.

Oh, and I may need to move soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

from Invisible to Island

Day 947, Session 153:
Thursday January 29th - At home.
First song: Invisible by Modest Mouse
Last full song: Island by Ben Taylor
Progress: 2713-2728 of 6761
Total Songs Heard: 1995

Freshman year of college I made the 9 hour drive from Dayton to Philly to spend the first major break with my high school friends (oh, and I suppose to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Dad's side.) The night before Thanksgiving I went out to dinner with my friend Liv and his family (who had really been my second family when I lived away from my own senior year) and a bunch of their family friends. We went into the city and had dinner in Chinatown. It was a big group, probably 15 people or so, and when I looked around I noticed one small difference between me and everyone else at
the table: I was the only person not speaking Chinese.

That wasn't the only thing I noticed when I looked around. Two tables over there was a girl. Well ok, there was a girl and her family, but I didn't really see the family. She looked to be college aged and she was very very attractive. Since I was having trouble following the conversation at the table, I found my eyes wandering over to the girl about every 6.5 seconds. (That may be an exaggeration. It was more like every 2.1 seconds.)

Sometime right after I finished my soup, something strange happened. I looked over, and the girl was looking at me. Knowing I had been caught, I immediately became very interested in the silverware pattern the restaurant was using. (Would it surprise you to learn that I was the only one at the table who needed silverware? I didn't think it would.)

Of course, my sense of shame doesn't run all that deep, so a minute or two later I ventured another glimpse at this (now elevated in my mind to "heavenly") girl and lo and behold she was looking at me AGAIN! This time she looked away. I immediately elbowed my friend Liv and asked him if he had seen what just happened. Of course I managed to ask him right as everyone else at the table had gone quiet. Seems someone at the table was in the middle of a prayer. Guh.

After I was sure praying was over, I again asked Liv to take a look over at the girl to
a) confirm that she was hot and 2) see if she was looking over. His answers, "YES!" and "yes?!?" Well, now I was just confused. I looked over again and we had our first extended eye contact. We shared hellos from across the room. She indicated that she noticed the "one of these kids is not like the other" eating situation. I gave it a smile and a shrug.

Dinner arrived so I turned my attention to eating. We stole occasional glances for the next 15 minutes
while I planned my next move. Seriously? I had no next move. What was I going to do, get up in the middle of dinner and walk over to her and tell her that even though I was only going to be in town for three days and even though the next day was Thanksgiving I wanted to spend as much of the next 72 hours as humanly possible with her because even though we hadn't spoken a word I had fallen utterly in love from the other side of the restaurant?

But then, why not? I was 18. Anything seemed possible.

I had just about worked up the nerve to excuse myself to "look for the restroom." I looked over to try to get her attention to "arrange the meet" and she was gone!

Well, she wasn't quite gone yet. Her family was walking toward the door. She was looking at me and our eyes locked. She stopped at the door for 3 seconds that stretched on for days, smiled sadly, waved, and slipped through the door and out of my life forever.

An Irishman In Chinatown - Luka Bloom

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Special

The marching in of all the different dignitaries is finished. The Presidency of Barrack Obama is about to begin.

I hope this is be the beginning of a better time for America, and for the rest of the world that has had to deal with us recently.

It feels like quite some time ago that the election actually happened and even longer since the campaign started.

Finally. Finally! Today is here!

Movin In - The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Friday, January 16, 2009

from Into The Woods to Introitus

Day 931, Session 152:
Tuesday January 13th - Basement, kitchen, living room. (aka laundry, dishes, pick-up)
First song: Into The Woods by My Morning Jacket
Last full song: Introitus by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Progress: 2686-2700 of 6741
Total Songs Heard: 1979

Mozart totally had it right, definitely suffering form "Intro"-itus today. 11 of the 15 tunes were either "Intro"s or "Introductions" and that's not counting Mozart's Introitus which probably is just Latin for Intro. What flashed through my head while listening to 11 different intros?

1. Dave Matthew's fans are insane. They screamed and cheered through the entire 6:25 Intro to their Listener Supported concert cd. I will admit that I am not intimately familiar with Dave Matthew's concerts (although I have been to a few) and it is possible that the band was actually playing a song during Intro, but to me, it just sounded like the band was warming up on stage, and the crowd was eating it up.

2. I still don't understand why rap cds feel the need to include "skits" in with all the music. De La Soul failed twice, on "3 Feet High and Rising" and "De La Soul Is Dead," by starting the cd with lame skits. In fact, if I hadn't recently changed iPods, I wouldn't even have heard the skits. I removed them all from tracks that went on the old iPod. The old iPod was completely full so many things had to be cut. The new iPod is 5 times bigger, so everything goes on.

3. There's no reason to have an Intro track, even for a live concert, last longer than 1 minute. I understand the desire to give us a full concert experience, but if you're taking over a minute between when you're brought to the stage and when you start your first song, you need to seriously examine your performance style.

4. When I was in 2nd grade, there was a new girl. She wasn't in my 2nd grade class, Ms. Sullivan's, but in Mrs. Kintzel's class at the other end of the hall. She was kind of cute. My intro to her went something like this:

[Setting: School Cafeteria]
Me: [Walking up to her in the drink line] Hi Brooke. Is that like Brooke Shields?
Her: [Immediately kicks me directly in the shins, then turns and walks away.]
Me: Ouch!

That's it. That's all I remember about the girl. The whole thing took less than a minute, just like any good intro should.

Friday, January 09, 2009

from Inflatable Amy to Into The Mystic

Day 919, Session 151:
Thursday January 1st - 36,000 feet over somewhere (the return.)
First song: Inflatable Amy by The Argument
Last full song: Into The Mystic by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
Progress: 2113-2139 of 6078
Total Songs Heard: 1964

Vegas travels, part 2:

First things first (and this won't mean anything to you unless you fly Southwest Airlines) we checked into our flight at the very moment that check-in opened up, and we ended up with B11. That means in the 15 seconds (at most) between when check-in opened and when we checked in, 55 people checked in before us. I should have realized this was an omen.

Because we got on the plane much later than we usually do, The Wife and I took the 1st available pair of seats we can find. In row 7 we find our seats (did you know that rows 7 & 8 on planes without a first class section often have more leg room?) and after looking around to assure there are no kids near us we say hello to the nice older lady by the window and take our seats. Immediately upon sitting down the nice old lady proceeds to cough hard enough and long enough to make me absolutely certain she's a lunger. So this is going to be a pleasant 4
hours. AND THEN...

Just before take off, The Wife stands up to make some pre-flight adjustments and her face goes pale. "I don't believe it," she says. I follow her eyes and GODSDAMNIT! It's the kid! and his worthless mother! AGAIN! This time they are on the other side of the aisle and one row behind us. They must have gotten on the plane after we took our seats, because there's no way in hell we would have missed them on intial inspection. 30 seconds after the plane has left the ground, the screaming begins again. I CAN NOT believe it.

So again, I didn't get to do a whole lot of reflecting during this segment as the music was turned up really loud so as to drown out the coughing on the right and the screaming from the left.

I decided to stop after Into The Mystic even though we had 90 minutes left in the flight because if I can't enjoy Into The Mystic (and at this point I couldn't) then there was no point in going on.

Here is how Into The Mystic should be listened to: Get yourself a glass of something (I recommend bourbon on the rocks,) turn down the lights, turn up the music (but not blasting into your ears up,) and let your soul and spirit fly.

Into The Mystic -
Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

I also heartily recommend the original Van Morrison version of the song, but I don't have that one in my
collection for some reason. Oh, all right, here it is:

After we got off the plane, we overheard the conversation from the people sitting directly in front of the kid. They couldn't believe no one would stop this kid from crying and kicking the chair for 4 consecutive hours. I told them it could have been worse. It could have been 5. We all laughed, but I don't think any of us felt any better.

According to my sister (who was seated across the aisle and behind the kid for the flight out) the bad mother did not sleep for the entire flight out (which is what we thought she was doing. The Wife and I assumed she was sick.) Nope, apparently she was awake long enough to have several drinks on the flight. Unbelievable.

As a public service, using my new camera phone, I took a picture of the woman as we waited at baggage claim. Please be aware that if you see this woman and her kid on a plane you are also on, you should immediately rebook your flight and possibly change your travel plans to go to an entirely different city. (I realize the picture isn't very clear, but it's not like I could go up to her and ask her to pose for it.)