These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, May 07, 2007

the tribute 1964

yesterday we got as close to the beatles as we're ever going to get. we attended a tulip time music event, which is rare, since most music events i wouldn't even consider going to. but this was The Tribute 1964, a nationally known Beatles cover band.

friday my brother in law gave dawn some tickets that he'd gotten from his workplace and figured we'd like to go see the show. we had extra tickets and called up the babbitts. they got onboard for the show.

the show was at the civic center and it was hopping, mostly full. we sat towards the back on the second level. we had a great view when the boys came out.

i'll say this now, there was a certain something about watching these guys perform, dressed in the suits the Beatles wore while on the ed sullivan show with their mop tops that it made you almost feel as if you were there in 1964.

the guys were standing in the same positions on stage as the real beatles did, the paul guy even played left-handed bass. they had accents similar to the beatles. the one performing as john lenon sounded like him.

they had the crowed going. the crowd, conservative, of course, took some time to get into it, to warm their feet. soon, though, there was heading shaking, foot tapping and singing along with the boys. always polite applause at the end of each song.

they performed songs from the first album all the way up to revolver. i think the "day-tripper" may have been the song on the far end. but they did stuff like "i saw her standing there," "nowhere man," "i feel fine," "eight days a week" and "can't buy me love." they pretty much did everything that was expected. even ringo got to sing a few songs, inclding "act naturally." no george songs were played, so the guy playing george just jammed on all the songs.

from far way, they looked like the real deal, for the most part. we went down by the stage, though, and they didn't quite look so much like them. the guy playing george sorta did and the guy playing paul looked like an older paul, but the guy playing john didn't look like john up close.

still, it was a good show, entertaining and fun. not a rip off or anything. the crowd genuinely liked it and by the end of the 90 minute show, many of the peole had left their bleacher seats and were down on the floor by the tage, many of them swinging around, one older couple really getting down with it.

there were also generations of people there. i think that shows testimony to the longivity of the beatles. you had people in their 60s going all the way down to grade schoolers (many of whom were up front checking out the band). the beatles and their music is something that will never die.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

the pitfalls of aging

on april 24 i turned 36. yes, yes, still young by all accounts.

still, i have to say my body isn't what it used to be years ago. each year is a slow progression towards the inevitable. i'm getting freaking old.

recently, several incidnets have occurred that have caused me to take a step back to ponder this outcome -- something i thought was years away, the aging, i mean.

i pride myself in having dark brown hair. despite being the oldest in my family, my brother and sister have more gray than they can handle. i joke with them about it and they laugh (my brother more than my sister). they say, well, at least my hairline isn't receding. yes, my hair is thinning up in front.

but at least i rested in the solace that i was gray-free.

some months back, i noticed i had white hairs growing near my jawline. i found them while shaving. no, actually, a friend saw them once when i let my beard grow out. now, tthat my sideburns are long, i see the long, white hairs proudly standing out along with their brown brothers, except that they tend to outshine them when i look at them.

a few weeks ago, i was at my mother-in-law's house. she patted me on the head then said there was a white hair in back of my head. she isolated it, plucked it, and showed it to me. dawn was amazed at the length of it. it was abuot four inches long. we laid it on a black sheet and i frowned because it was clear as day. i figured that in time others would make their way among their brown brothers throughout my head. oh well, my grace period is over.

i started to jog, trying to get in shape. i'd gotten into it and things were going well. then, one bad slip on the stairs here at home and i twisted my ankle. i went jogging the following day without properly stretching. i got caught in the rain and ran home at full speed for three blocks.

the following day my ankle was pounding and the soft areas below both knees (bursa) were hurting like crazy. i could barely walk. i struggled to get places and barely walked to work.

i went to the doctor. he said i didn't do any serious damage to my ankle, buti did mess up some tendons all over the ankle. my knees? he said they creaked like someone who's been hiking in the woods and walks over rough terrain. not something he's used to seeing in someone like me.

he prescribed some pills for the swelling and said to walk on my ankle to keep it from getting stiff. pills worked but the ankle took some time to heal.

now, my jaw hurts. i don't know if it's some kind of infection or what. it feels like a toothache. i will see the doctor again monday.

i don't know. i really don't recall being hurt like this when i was younger. my body was more resilliant. a twist of the ankle 10 or 15 years ago and i would have shaken it off. the swollen bursa? i don't know. i've certainly run fast before (when younger) and i've had no problem. the creaking knews, well, i have the feeling it's from having lived on a ranch for 30 years and going over rough terrain much of the time. the white? oh well.

break out the geratol, metamusil and tonics. i'm on my way.