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If I read cnn.com correctly.. [Oct. 15th, 2008|03:54 pm]
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Nancy Regan broke her hip and it caused the stock market to plunge 600 points.

Well, it's as good an explanation as any of the gobbledygook they've offered up so far!

Discuss.
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Bluesong @ the Blowout [Mar. 11th, 2008|10:06 am]
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It’s hard for me to write about what I think about Ross’s new band Bluesong because I have known Ross for a long time, probably almost ten years now. So, I tried to watch the show through the eyes of some of the younger folks that seem to finally be getting out seeing bands in this town now-a-days. There seemed to be a serious drought of audience members ‘round these parts from late 2003 though early 2006. At all of our shows we’d kind of see the same people more or less. Now it seems every show we play I see people I’ve never seen before. A lot of them are fairly young. This is a good sign.

So, I’ve seen Ross in 500 Ft. Of Pipe, Aquarius Void, Deadstring Brothers, and a few other blues-rock projects he did with Danny from The Muggs that I forget the name(s) of. He’s without a doubt, the best over all songwriter and musician in the Detroit area. Well, at least for my taste – I mean there are probably better pop song writers but Ross writes good rock/pop tunes with HEAVY riffs, right in my wheelhouse. So, I’m trying to listen to the band though new ears, but for me it was impossible. First off because the sound of the band is instantly recognizable as classic. I talk all the time about how classic, to me is essential in musical craftsmanship. It’s applicable to many other artistic endeavors as well – such a automotive design – but I digress on that – Bluesong’s sound is classic. Think of the middle break of Pink Floyd’s Echoes. Think of the middle break down in “Whole Lotta Love” minus Robert Plant’s moaning, think of the intro part of “Fairies Wear Boots (Jack The Ripper)”. You’re kind of getting the vibe. But slow it down a little more and throw in some tension. What kind of tension? Just a little uneasiness -- A little, “Where is this going?” Not in a bad way, because from the moment the first cymbal hit you’re on board, you want to know where it’s going and that mystery is intoxicating. I hesitate to call is stoner rock because that tag is just so easy. Pink Floyd never got tagged as “Stoner Rock” in their day, although I’m sure every blogger would immediately categorize and marginalize them that way today. So I’m not going to do that. Its classic rock performed in a classic style by incredible musicians. Thinking back on my original plan of listening though new ears -- I can’t imagine what someone who’d never heard a band like Bluesong perform would think. I mean, I’ve seen Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and one half of Led Zeppelin* perform live at one time or another – what would some 21 year old kid think seeing Bluesong in a small room like Small’s for the first time. I hope it blew their fucking mind. I hope it changes the way they’d think of live music forever.

Click on this link to see video two songs from their set this past Saturday night. Chapstik had a hard time following up this performance.


* Correction -- I saw John Paul Jones open up for King Crimson sometime in 2001, in addition to seeing Plant & Page in 1994. So, I've seen 3/4 of Led Zeppelin at one time or another.
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(no subject) [Feb. 4th, 2008|01:43 pm]
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[mood |blankblank]

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Wail [Dec. 26th, 2007|11:41 am]
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Today was the day I was supposed to start getting up at 5:00 am to go work out. I had a pretty good routine going before Tima arrived where I'd go to the gym at round 6:00 pm when I'd get home form work and be back in time for dinner at 7:15-7:30 pm. Well, that's pretty much prime time Tima time now, plus I don't feel right about leaving Kim home with Tima right after I just get home, what with her having to watch him all day. So, if I'm going to work out, it's going to have to be in the morning before work. I was supposed to get up at 5:00 am, but somewhere around 1:30 am Tima decided that he'd rather spend the next 2 or so hours wailing and screaming.

I am a very light sleeper. In order to sleep, I need some kind of repetitive background noise. Lately that has been the sound of Celtic Lullabies playing on a CD player in his room through the baby monitor. I've been waking up at the slightest noise he makes.

He started whimpering that evolved in to a cry that became a wail. Kim is a heavy sleeper. Violent rainstorms with crashing thunder do not wake her up. So, a slight cry from Tima doesn't wake Kim up in the slightest. I'm laying there listening to him start to wail and I get kind of pissed off that it doesn't wake Kim up. So, I get up and head down to his room in a huff. I get downstairs and find that he's got his pillow flopped over his head and his legs are tangled up in the blanket. I unwind him from the blanket and take the pillow off his head. He calmed down and I went back up to bed. Well, no more than 5 minutes later he wails-up again. This time Kim does wake up and goes downstairs to tend to him. I guess all the activity gave his scream mojo a boost, so he went from on and off screaming and wailing to full on non-stop wailing and screaming. I couldn't take it so I went back down to his room and advised Kim to go back to bed and that I'd try and get him back to sleep. I sat down and held his hand while he flopped around like a fish out of water and periodically burst out into his trademark wailing, back-of-the-throat scream. After an indeterminate amount of time in the hellish time warp that is trying to get Tima to fall asleep (which probably was around 20 minutes) Kim also couldn't take it anymore, came back downstairs and said that she'd go get the air mattress out of the sun room (which she had been sleeping on for the first few weeks that he was home) and stay in his room with him for the rest of the night. I went back up to bed, but I was so worked up from the drama that I didn't get back to sleep until well past 3:00 am. Thus, I decided to postpone my new wake up time until this coming Friday.

Now, I'm back at work after having Monday & Tuesday off for the holiday, but I feel all bleary-eyed and poorly rested.

Happy New Year, Everybody!!
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This may be the story about the Led Zeppelin reunion show.. [Dec. 14th, 2007|02:31 pm]
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Paul McCartney
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More on Russia & Tima. [Dec. 6th, 2007|11:23 am]
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I’ve been trying to think about a way to write about the trip to Russia to pick up Tima without sounding like I hate my new son. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the little guy, I certainly do ya-tib-ya-loo-bloo (I love you) the dude -- but as my dear, dear, dear, sweet wife and I discussed last night in whispered tones on the couch after finally getting him to fall asleep following a good 20 minute crying fit, I think we’re both suffering from some sort of post traumatic ipso facto shell-shock like disorder. Let me back track a little – we’d had plenty of preparation from out adoption agency on what the possible outcome of the adoption could be. Kids who are neglected by their parents and kids who are institutionalized in an orphanage tend to have problems adjusting to “normal” family life. He’s had both. So, we were ready for some problems. We knew what to expect. And then in August this year we met him. He was absolutely the sweetest little boy we’d ever met. He was kind, polite, and well-mannered and seemed to genuinely take a liking to us. So, we let our guard down. We’d be fine! He loves us and we were going to pick him up and sweep him into happy-happy USA land were George W. Bush would be waiting at JFK airport for us with a bouquet of roses. I’m not sure at what point after he arrived at the hotel in Arkhangelsk we realized that things were not what we had been expecting. The first day he was with us he was fine, we played, ate food and he was happy to see us again or if he didn’t remember us he played it off very well. Then something changed. It’s clear that he was not interested in these two folks telling him what to do or when to do it. Any time we’d say “Neyt, neee-egroosh-ka” (No, that’s not a toy) there would be a knock down drag out fit of epic proportions. One technique for counseling him that we’d be advised to use when he’d fit out was instead of letting him roll on the floor gnashing his teeth and screaming was to grab a hold and not let go until he’d calm down. The thought being that kids like him had always been neglected when they would cry, either by their parents or by too-busy orphanage workers looking after 200 kids at the same time. So, instead of ignoring him we’d pick him up and hold him, rock him and say soothing things to try to get him to calm down and accept that we’re here to comfort him. He did not like this. I suppose in an analytical sense I can understand this. How can we expect him to accept comfort from we strangers? But here’s the deal, you can tell yourself this all you want. You can get the logic and reason straight in you head, but when you’re faced with an angry, screaming, sobbing, kicking and punching tiny Russian wailing in your face for 20-40 minutes at a pop 10-20 times a day all that logic and reason goes out the window. In the final moments of the day, emotionally and physically exhausted and basking in the glow of the TV tuned to BBC World News the one English speaking station available, you say “My God, what we done?”

This went on while we were in the hotel in Arkhangelsk for three or four days while we went though the court hearing (which is another completely different story that I’ll save for another time) and additional post hearing paper work that had to be processed. Then we had to take a flight back to Moscow for additional paperwork and finally a visit to the US Embassy to get him a visa to leave the country with us. So, we were in Moscow for another 4-5 days. I’m vague on the days because it was all just a big blur of Cyrillic alphabet letters, neon lights and violent screams. Kim and I had one major blow up between us because of the stress but we quickly came to realize that we couldn’t let him break us. He was Ivan Drago and we were Rocky Balboa. The time in Moscow was truly awful. We had three days at least where we had nothing to do but wait. We tried to be enthusiastic about seeing the city but at that point we just couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the freaking country. It’s regrettable. We’d alternate taking trips out of the hotel to go to the market across the street or to McDonalds ("Макдоналдс") and while standing in front of the massive and completely intimidating Stalinist skyscraper of the Foreign Ministry building I couldn’t help but stop and say to myself “I’m in fucking Moscow!”. It was crazy. I tried to think to myself what would I say to the Chris of twenty years ago who knew only that Russia was the enemy and that we were “better dead than Red”. What would he think to know that one day he’d there? Much less adopting a child from the county to bring home as his own. It was crazy. Both Kim and I had that thought, but again it was quickly squashed by the fact that being trapped in that hotel room with him was fucking miserable.

We’ve had to re-evaluate how we’re going to go forward with our lives now that he’s here and he’s asserting his influence. Things have gotten considerably better since we’ve been home a week now, but progress is incremental. Kim still has to sleep in the room with him lest he wakes frequently in a panic. Her life has turned completely upside down. I feel bad because I’m back at work where I get a good 8 hours of shelter from his storm. She’s bearing the brunt of the attack and it’s wearing on her considerably. We somehow have to figure out how Kim is going to be able to go back to work at some point because we can’t afford to have her not work. Long story short is that this story is just beginning.
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(no subject) [Dec. 5th, 2007|09:53 am]
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I love to share. So, here are three YOOOOOOOU TOOOOOOB videos that have been making me happy lately.



This is Мой Рай by Максим (MakSim)which roughly translates from Russian to "My Paradise" in English. When we were trapped in the hotel room in Moscow with Tima last week we'd put on the Russian video music channel (MVE) and every time this video would come on Tima would be captivated for four minutes or so. I think he loves her. I like the song, too.

And still on the Tima tip, here's the Russian version of Winnie The Pooh, Vinni Puh! I love this cartoon and so does Tima. We saw it on the TV again, while trapped in Moscow last week on a cartoon show. U-TOOB has all four parts to the cartoon and all are worth watching even if you don't understand Russian or have kids.



And finally here's a live version of the David Gilmour song "The Blue", which is just fantastic. This song is absolutely beautiful. The live version is even more amazing and actually feels "heavy" in parts. The vocal arrangement with the Stills & Nash in there is just breath taking. I'd of loved to have seen this done live.

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it’s official: we have a "family". [Dec. 3rd, 2007|09:15 pm]
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I am severely lacking in creative writing energy at the moment. I've decided to cut and paste my dear wife Kim's description of the last two weeks or so from her myspace.com blog:


it’s official: we have a "family".

we arrived home on wednesday night around midnight with the little immigrant. we had a nightmarish couple of days where he would not sleep (which meant none of us slept), threw tantrums over literally nothing, and generally was extremely disagreeable. Things have started to even out a little bit, although I'm still having to sleep on his bedroom floor to help calm him during the many times during the night he wakes up in a panic. we're hoping that establishing a routine will help him calm down and not be so nervous.

chris went back to work today. i miss him. our dogs came back yesterday. i missed them. i have to figure out how to accomplish at least 24 hours of work a week from home in order to maintain the same financial security (which was precarious at best) we had before we went to russia. and considering this is the first time i've even had a chance to check myspace in the past five days (and now only because my mom is here), getting work done is a daunting task.

i long for the days of drinking a bottle of wine and watching i love new york. what sweet heaven that will be when we can do that again.
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Russia PT. II [Nov. 14th, 2007|03:22 pm]
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So, I'm going back to Russia on Saturday.

I'll be gone for two weeks.

When I come back, I'll be a dad.

Weird.
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Pantera [Nov. 5th, 2007|09:58 am]
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[mood |chipperchipper]

I went bike riding on Saturday and I passed an automotive repair shop on 8 mile near Livernois. In the back lot of the garage was a DeTomaso Pantera. I'd never seen one before in person. It was love at first sight.

I've decided that someday I will own one of these. I don't know how or when, but some day..





I also want this dude's hair:

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