Tuesday, March 29, 2011

something I'm actually too young for.

I was just dicking around online, looking up old concerts on YouTube, and found some great clips of Van Halen performing at the US Festival in 1983. I got to digging into the other performances and was blown away by the line-up!

I took this straight from Wikipedia...

Saturday, May 28 (New Wave Day)

Wall of Voodoo - Stan Ridgway's last appearance with Wall of Voodoo
The English Beat
Missing Persons
A Flock of Seagulls
Stray Cats
Men at Work
The Clash - Mick Jones' last appearance with The Clash.

Sunday, May 29 (Heavy Metal Day)

Van Halen
Quiet Riot
Motley Crue
Ozzy Osbourne
Judas Priest

Monday, May 30 (Rock Day)

Los Lobos (on a side stage only)
Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul
Berlin (band)

Missing Persons
The Pretenders
Joe Walsh
Stevie Nicks
David Bowie

Saturday June 4th (Country Day)
Thrasher Brothers
Ricky Skaggs
Hank Williams, Jr.
Harris & The Hot Band
Waylon Jennings
Riders in the Sky
Willie Nelson

Granted, some bands blow. But look at the ones that don't, especially for back in '83. Stray Cats, Bowie, The Clash, The Halen, Ozzy, Waylon, Willie, Joe Walsh, U2.



Tuesday Ramble Y'all.

Something that I can't decide if I like or not is people who are really into something. I mean, reeaaally into it. Self proclaimed connoisseur, so to speak. I appreciate taking your interests to professional-type levels. But part of me gets extremely annoyed by the narcissism and over-the-top opinions.

For instance, I like to BBQ. I can smoke a mean turkey and have accomplished the art of properly preparing baby back ribs. It's not rocket science, you just have to know a few key things, a little trial and error, and your golden. Sure, there's a lot more to it. Rubs, sauces, temps, rotation, oxygen, wood, whatnot. But in my opinion, you don't have to overthink it.

Now, I have not been around true BBQ snobs. Competition guys who speak in a different language, scoff at weekend grillers, and debate about correct methods. I'm positive they're out there, though, and this is the type of person that annoys me.

I have been around fly fishermen and craft beer folk. The same rings true. You've got the clique, the subculture, the club. Guys who have nothing better to do than talk shop, put down others to make themselves feel superior, and basically just suck. This is the point where really getting into something crosses that line from having a genuine interest, learning the activity, getting very good at that activity, but not letting that activity consume your every thought---to being a cocky, opinionated, totally self-proclaimed "expert" asshole.

So with that said, I am going to continue BBQing, fly fishing, and enjoying different beers. But I will not be joining any fraternities on these subjects. I will remain knowledgeable, confident, open minded, and unbias. I've had BBQ at local specialty BBQ joints that has flat out sucked. I've spoken with fly anglers who can talk shop all day, but can't fish. I've tasted Heineken. So just because you're into something--reeeaaally into something--doesn't mean you're worth a shit at it.


I've been thinking about food quite a bit lately.

Out here in Colorado, we're bombarded with organic this, and natural that. It gets a little ridiculous, but it does make sense. Why wouldn't I eat the natural grass fed cow instead of the chemical-hormone fueled cow? I don't know much about farming, but I do understand that organic farming is much more difficult to maintain. And in the end, as the farmer, you don't get as much bang for your buck. You have to deal with smaller livestock and higher prices. With produce, it takes more work to grow, you have to charge more for that additional work, and the produce basically tastes the same as the pesticide-laced one sitting next to it for $.89/lb cheaper.

Then there's the whole hunting thing. Is it more humane to kill a deer and eat it than to purchase an 8-pack of chicken thighs? Probably so.

It's a tough decision. I want to care more, but I also don't want to have to think about every single thing I'm eating and where it came from. Shit, I ate Popeye's chicken today. I shutter thinking about where that came from. But it's Popeye's and it's good. A cage-free, free range, naturally fed bird this certainly was not. But it's weird, creepy tasting fast food that's convenient and hooks you somehow.

I love eating well, but I don't do it near enough. Takes a lot of time and effort. But I feel amazing afterwards. Funny thing is, I don't necessarily crave these good, healthy meals. What I do crave, from time to time, is a fucking Bean Burrito from Taco Bell. A Big Mac, McNuggets, a Triple Stack. I don't get it. I feel terrible after eating anything fast food, yet there's something addicting about it. I can get a flour tortilla, fill it with refrieds, and a little cheese, but it tastes nothing like a Taco Bell Bean Burrito. There's got to be some weird, addictive chemical or something that they put in there. Fast food tastes good at the time you're craving it, but makes you fat and feeling terrible. Yet we still go.

I try and find a balance. That's actually what I look for in most every aspect of life. A good balance when it comes to food is tough, but I think an open mind and a decent variety will suffice. That way, I get my organic, all natural, free range, grass fed shit--and I get my Bean Burrito. Mixing it up, moderation, eating mostly real food...I think that's the way to do it.

Second Intermission.

I think the reason that the two above subjects came up was because it was triggered during conversations about fishing.

I've been wanting to eat fish lately. Along with shitty fast food, luckily I've also been craving wild, healthy fish. But in the fishing biz, catch and take is frowned upon. It's all catch and release, which I've practiced fairly religiously my entire life. Hell, I haven't kept a trout in 20some years.

When I go back home to Missouri and we get into the crappie or the white bass, that's when we harvest and that's when we eat fish. But I want fish now. I want to eat a fat, healthy rainbow trout that has never seen a farm-fed fish pellet in its life. I want to eat an all natural fish that has eaten nothing but all natural food itself, like crawdads, baitfish, mysis shrimp, or insects. Brightly colored fillets--not those dull, grey fillets from hatchery fish.

I'm going to go ahead and do that. It sounds delicious. Fuck the fly snobs--I've released enough fish to stock a lake--a lake that the doughball casters will just trespass onto and catch and keep all the fish illegally anyway.

Good talk.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

back on track.

Okay, a few things.

First, as an effect of my last post, I now do not give a shit about much of anything anymore. In a good way. I'll explain.

If you've read about the Croissan'wich incident this morning, then you know that I had an extremely angry lady with a drive-thru headset on throw my breakfast at me this morning. Surprising. Shocking. Funny. But ultimately, uncalled for. You work at a godamn Burger King. Relax.

I've taken that occurance and applied it to my current mindset. I've been very stressed out at work lately. I won't get into it, but there are some miscommunications and practices that have been compromising my good-time personality. You see, this mean lady works at Burger King...I work at a fly shop. Not much difference as far as important occupations go. Neither of us are saving babies or curing feline AIDS (which is the leading form of cat deaths in the US. Wa, wa, wa...). No, we both have totally meaningless jobs. So there's no sense in getting stressed out and taking it out on random people who just want a fly rod--or in my case, a sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich.

So even though it angered me, I'm glad it happened. It put things back into perspective for me.

Second, I saw some good friends from Missouri over the weekend who were up skiing in the mountains. It was awesome. Such good friends, and I rarely see them anymore. My fault for moving 700 miles away, but nevertheless it was great to hang out.

A couple of them used to follow this here blog. They says to me, "Hey Matt, what happened to your blog? It used to be so fun to read and all of a sudden you stop keeping up with it."

I gave them some excuse about filling my creative needs in other ways or someshit. Truth is, I've tried to change it over the past few months to possibly spark interest from some sort of publisher or something. I like to write, and I found myself using Earl's Brain as a reference to potential employers or someone that might want me to freelance. So I became very particular about what I would write, and would edit myself due to the possibility of certain editor-type someones reading it and judging my skills.

So no more stories about crapping my pants. No more getting shitfaced and seeing if I could form a sentence, much less an entire post. No more badass 80s metal videos. My blog became worthless. It became something it was not. Groomed, detailed, serious, and unentertaining. Unentertaining for you, and unentertaining for me.

Now, to revist the first point that I made on this post...I don't really give a shit about much since I got my breakfast hurled at me this morning. And with that said, the old Earl's Brain is back. I don't care about someone from Sunset Magazine, or Travel Channel calling me up and saying, "Fuck, Matt! Your blog is incredible! I've never read anything quite so eloquent and stylish! The pictures of you fishing and shit are unbelievable--and the brown background, breathtaking!" (that's what it looked like before I changed it back to just plain ol'...)

And even if you're not some bigshot that gets paid $200,000 a year to proofread shit, you might be an older relative, or someone who may be offended by questionable language and shocking images of 80s wickedness. That's okay. You're still invited to pour yourself a tall glass of Scotch, sit back in your easy chair, pull up Earl's Brain on the ol' Innertube, and enjoy yourself for a few moments.

I've attached a fantastic live performance of the entertaining band, Van Halen, for both your viewing and listening pleasure.

"Senni-seed....No second to none. Woooww!! Son of a gun!.........Alright." Those aren't the lyrics at all--they don't even make sense, but that's what Dave decided to say. That is a metaphor for how I want to live life everyday.

Please Boycott Burger King.

Not because my wife was an employment casualty in the 800 person lay-off after BK got bought out earlier this year. Not because of their horrendous commercials that make me want to eat McDonald's everyday just out of principle. Not even because their food flat-out sucks.

I need you to boycott Burger King because I got a Croissan'wich thrown at me this morning.

Since my wife was a Marketing Manager for quite some time with the King, she had a stack of "Free Whopper" and "Free Croissan'wich" coupons laying around all the time. This was probably the biggest perk she received while working there. On my way to work today, I notice a coupon for the breakfast sandwich in my console. And although I rarely east fast food--especially BK--I was a little hungry and the "free" aspect appealed to me.

I pull in to the Boulder restaurant and proceed to the drive-through lane. I explain the coupon to the employee on the speaker and specify that I'd like sausage on that sandwich. She asked another time or two for me to repeat the coupon--which usually happens. I suppose they don't see these coupons all that often. So she accepts my explanation and instructs me pull around to the second window.

I hand the coupon to the stand-offish lady working the window, and hear her grumbling about "free sammich..." something or other. She didn't speak the best English, but I could tell she was put-out by my coupon.

A little time passes as she wrestles with how to ring up the coupon in the register and ponders how much attitude she wants to give me. She slowly approaches the window, headset on, and says without looking at me, "$3.35".

I think that there is a strong possibility that she's talking to the person in line behind me, seeing as how she's not looking at me and barking out a grand total just after I gave her a coupon for a free freakin' sandwich. But I ask very politely, "Are you talking to me?" She ignores me.

"$3.35!" she says much louder and more demanding, still while not looking at me. Once again, I politely try to verify that she is in fact talking to me. She ignores me for a second, then glances down at me. I point to myself and meekly ask for the third time, "Are you talking to me?"

"Yes!! I'm talkin' to you!!" she yells. She literally yelled. "But...it's a 'free' coupon." I replied, confused and hungry.

She gives me the most "I want you dead" sigh I've ever received, storms over to the breakfast sandwich schute, grabs the sausage, egg, & cheese, chucks in a bag, and literally throws it out of the drive-through window and into my car window while saying, "Here!!"

"Sorry." I said. Then I drove off laughing at my response and surprised as hell that she actually put my breakfast in a bag.

My wife has done marketing in the fast food industry for years, and we have sampled most every form of convenience "food" imaginable. Burger King has hands down the absolute worst service I've ever witnessed. And I'm not just saying that because their food and their commercials suck.

So for all the many reasons that the King sucks, this morning's incident has actually made me boycott the company.

Throw a sandwich at me, will you... I have a blog, bitches.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick Ramble Before Bed.


I keep changing my blog. One minute it's fun and stupid...the next minute it's serious and formal. And sometimes it's white and sometimes it's brown.

Also, I've been sour lately and I apologize for that. I'll start concentrating on being more positive. Okay? Fine.

I've been gearing up for Spring. And what that entails is celebrations including Mardi Gras, St. Pat's, and Opening Day. So far, I've been to see the Dropkick Murphy's (their March tour, a tradition for St. Patrick's Day), I've been to Soulard in St. Louis for Mardi Gras (that was three days ago and I'm still hungover), and I've purchased my mlb.com Game Package for Cardinal viewing.

Although fly fishermen annoy me and I have to deal with their neediness, I am dying to get on the river. Or the lake. Pond. Wherever. It's been way too long and way too cold of a winter, and I'm sick of it. So I've been tying flies and gearing up for the Williams Fork, Lake Pomme De Terre, and my local open space pond down the street. I still dig fishing...

Alright, I'm tired and it's past my bedtime. I'll post some Mardi Gras pics and elaborate on it a little later on. And my St. Patty's entry promises to be entertaining too, I hope. We can't decide on green tutus, royal robes, or capes. I'm sure we'll make the correct green decision.