I absolutely LOVE the movie "JAWS". It's my single-favorite movie of all-time. I watch it, on average, 100 times each year... and have seen it somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 times. Yes... I'm serious. In fact, I'm watching it right now as I type this. This is about the 6th time I've watched it in the last two weeks.
Friends know my JAWS obsession all too well. They know that I break into JAWS quotes when I'm drunk. They know I love to talk about JAWS history and trivia. They know that while I love the movie, I thought the book was absolutely horrible.
But the obsession goes much deeper than just the movie "JAWS". Great White sharks are my single-favorite animal. I feel a very spiritual connection with them... and consider them to be my "Power Animal" or "Animal Totem"... or whatever. I have a tattoo of a Great White running the entire length of the side of my right forearm. I wear a Great White tooth pendant during spiritual services and rites. The top item on my "Bucket List" is to do a Great White dive in South Africa... and to see a Great White do a full-body leap out of the water.
I love Great Whites... and I abso-freakin'-lutely LOVE "JAWS".
The funny thing is that while I own the DVD... I almost never need to use it! JAWS is almost always on some channel somewhere!
The picture? A wind up "Bruce the Shark" (from the movie "Finding Nemo") bath/pool toy that my good friends Lenny & Kristin gave me for Christmas... resting on my "JAWS" Collectors Edition DVD.
In "Finding Nemo", Bruce the Shark is the leader of a group for sharks who are trying not to eat fish.... because "Fish are friend... NOT FOOD"! He was named after the mechanical shark from JAWS, which Steven Spielberg named after his lawyer... because "lawyers are sharks".
So there it is. Now you must excuse me... the "U.S.S. Indianapolis Speech" scene is about to begin!
Music means the world to me. My iPod and I are inseparable... It's practically a part of me!
My favorite band, by far, is Iron Maiden. Since I was a little kid sharing a room with an older brother who had their posters plastering the wall... their music has been a part of my life.
I'm also a drummer... and my favorite drummer, by far, is Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain. He's known as "The fastest foot in the business". Why? He can play the bass drum faster than 90% of the double-bass drummers out there. The thing is, he doesn't use a double-bass drum... nor does he use a double-bass pedal. He plays one bass drum... with one pedal. His foot is just THAT fast! Add to the fact that he's almost 60 years old now and still plays 2 and 3 hour shows without breaks (whereas much younger drummers, like Metallica's Lars Ulrich frequently have to pause after 2 or 3 songs and go off stage for water and oxygen)... and yep... Nicko McBrain is by-far the best out there!
In just a little over two weeks I'll be going to see Iron Maiden on their "Final Frontier" tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. OK... maybe that in-and-of-itself isn't that big of a deal... since this won't be my first time seeing Maiden in concert. But it WILL be my kids first time seeing them!
Yep... that's right... my wife and I are taking our kids to their very first concert... Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden.
The thought of this just makes me so excited! The last time Maiden was "in town" my wife and I went... and the kids were mad at us for not taking them with us. Well... this time they get to go and see one of the greatest bands of all-time performing one of the greatest shows in all of heavy metal.
But I'm getting ahead of myself! For now I'll just grab my iPod and blast some Maiden albums as I drift off to sleep, focussing on Nicko's drumming.
Life IS good!
* * *
The image? A little still-life I accidentally created while cleaning today. My Nicko McBrain autograph paired up with a set of his signature Vic Firth drumsticks, resting on the "Number of the Beast" vinyl that my kids got me for Christmas last year.
The United States beat Algeria today in South Africa. With that win the US edged out England to take first place in Group C. The result? The United States and England both advance to Stage 2 (the Quarter-Final Round). Algeria and Slovenia are eliminated and go home.
Now the United States must face Ghana. The winner of that match will go on to face the winner of the Uruguay vs. South Korea game in Semi-Final Round.
This is big for U.S. Soccer (um, I mean "football").
I was sneaking in the game online at work when Landon Donovan scored the winning goal with only minutes to go in the game. I was practically screaming... but I couldn't let it out, for fear that I'd get in trouble for watching the game! A co-worker who was home today (and is also a football fanatic) called me in excitement to make sure that I got to see the win.
Perhaps you don't understand it all... Perhaps you "just don't get it"... but trust me, Football (um, I mean "soccer") is just that important! Here in Danbury, especially. A very large part of our city's population hails from Brazil, Portugal and Spain. This past Sunday Brazil beat the Ivory Coast, 3-1. The celebrations downtown were instantaneous. Three people were arrested.
Yes... Football (yes... I mean Football) is just that important!
I'm still on a "high" from the U.S. win today. After dinner I decided to head downtown to Rogers Park to see what was happening on the fields. I wasn't disappointed! There were games going on on both fields. Fathers were teaching toddlers how to pass the ball. Kids were practicing heading. There were jerseys from the national teams of Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Argentina. There was laughter and happiness all around.
Two of my best friends (Lenny & Kristin) are getting married on Fourth of July weekend.
Knowing how much I love Chucks, they told me I could wear my Chucks to their wedding. To celebrate, I had Converse make me a custom pair of purple and black Product (RED) Chucks... which I recently received.
I can't fully reveal them yet... since I'm not even going to wear them until the day of the wedding... but I keep finding myself opening the box to take a peek.
Headed down to NYC for the day with our good friends Lenny & Kristin. Early train to Grand Central followed by extremely speedy cab ride down to the Life Café for a wedding anniversary brunch (Today was Holly and my 11th anniversary!).
Walked through Tompkins Square... made our way through a couple of street fairs... wandered through Union Square... then hopped on the Q-Line in to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade
The train was full of mermaids... and confused locals.
Last stop exit... crowds-upon-crowds of people... sun shining strong.
Wandered up and down Surf Ave - my camera firing like crazy.
Stood right at the very start of the parade... amongst the press-crowd surrounding the float that carries "King Neptune and Queen Mermaid". This year the "Royal Family" was none other than Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson - with an honorary title of "Royal Mer-Dog" going to their pooch Lola Belle.
I wedged my way through the crowd and stood right at the edge of their float as they waited for the parade to begin... attendants handing them iced coffees and making adjustments to costumes.
All-in-all I took around 400 photos at the parade... including at least a couple-dozen of the "Royal Couple". Sure, I got much better shots of them... yet for some reason this particular photo really stands out to me. Lou, Laurie and Lola Belle in that moment before the march began.
To check out more of my photos from the Mermaid Parade, click HERE
Had to go to one of my least-favorite places today.
Walking back to the car I notice the pattern of the hundreds-upon-hundreds of shopping carts lined up at the door.
Hundreds-upon-hundreds... and these are just the carts lined up by the door. It doesn't include the hundred or so that are scattered around the parking lot...
... or the hundred or so that are lined up just inside the store...
... or the hundred or so that are being pushed around and filled by the loyal zombies wandering the aisles.
Hundreds-upon-hundreds-upon-hundreds of shopping carts.
And when I think about the fact that there are times when it seems that every single one of them is taken and you can't seem to find one when you need one - well... the thought of it is very, very scary to me.
I don't know why... but I like this image. It isn't "technically good". The foreground is out of focus... things are cut off... the lighting is all wrong... blah-blah-blah.
Still... there's something about it I really like. It was a "from the hip" shot of our table as we dined out on our screen-porch... enjoying the beautiful weather... and the chirping of the baby Chickadees in the birdhouse a few feet away.
Perhaps it's the feeling of it all that I like so much.
Perhaps it's the memory of past meals... of family gatherings... of conversations.