This has been my inner monologue the past few days….
“I can’t think of anything to write about.”
“It’s been a year.”
“C’mon ya dumb brain, you don’t like me and I don’t like you but I need you to think of something to write about.”
“It’s been a year.”
“It’s been a year.”
I guess I have a few things to say about the past twelve months. They’ve been weird. I still remember the details of what turned out to be the last sort of normal week before everything changed.
Corona virus had been in the news for awhile, but no one was quite sure what the future held. On Friday March 13th… yes, it really was Friday the 13th… I had a morning/early afternoon shift at the Archive and spent much of that time cleaning, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant wipes, etc…
That night I went bowling with my brother, and as of now that was the last night our league got together for its weekly bit of fun competition. There was a significant decrease in slapping hands, high fiving, etc… Not even one Milli Vanilli style shirtless chest bump. There was a bunch of conversation about this disease that had been in the news lately. It sounded bad.
After bowling Tom and I stopped to get something to eat at a MacGregors/Distillery/Jeremiah
I spent the afternoon of Saturday the 14th at Record Archive helping customers, putting away stock, and cleaning. Lots of cleaning. Then the world changed. That was my last shift in the store. They had to shutdown for a few weeks (or maybe more… time became a blur for a while). The store is reopened with less hours than pre-pandemic, and they are still waiting to feel more comfortable about live music and crowds returning to the Backroom Lounge. I personally think that is brilliant. At least I still get space to give my opinions here, and I appreciate it.
It’s really easy to dwell on all the bad stuff from the past 365 days. The disease, the social unrest, the isolation, the financial struggles, etc… Those are the types of things that have made everyone feel worried, sad, and frightened. That’s why I wanted it look at it from a different point of view. Despite all of the negatives I have a lot to be thankful for.
The most obvious thing I’m thankful for is the continued love and health of my family and friends. All of my immediate family, and most of my closest friends, have remained Covid free. The ones who did get sick have seemed to recover. I consider myself extremely lucky to have not lost anyone the way so many others have. I’m glad I have a strong group of people who check in on me, and I do my best to return that kindness.
My wife was way on top of what was happening around the world with the virus, and had us better prepared than anyone I know for what eventually happened. When the news was filled with stories of people panic shopping we had already been stocked up on food and supplies for weeks. At the time I thought it was a little silly, but I was wr…wroo….wrooo… I WAS WRONG. Fonzie and I both hate saying that.
Jeez, for not having anything to say it’s taking me forever to say it. I haven’t even gotten to the main point of this week’s blog.
What I’m saying is that I have a lot things to be grateful in the year since Saturday March 14th, 2020. Not just the big things mentioned above, but a bunch of smaller things that I may take for granted (but try not to). With that in mind I present my ABCs Of Thankfulness….
A is for Alayna Alderman…
The boss lady at Record Archive was there for me when iHeart Radio let me go, and even though I’m not currently needed at the store she still gives me a place to share my “brain droppings”, as George Carlin so aptly called his writings.
No, I’m not comparing myself to the genius George Carlin… now let me tell you about the seven words you can’t say on the radio…
Actually, why not pick up something from one of the most brilliant minds in the history of recorded humor. Click HERE to see your choices, or go look at the used vinyl comedy section I mentioned last week for more choices.
B is for Bernie’s Mittens…
The viral sensation only lasted for a few days past the January 20th inauguration of President Biden, where the original pic of Bernie was taken. For about 72 hours nothing made me laugh harder than seeing Bernie Sanders photoshopped into every possible setting or group of people. My personal favorite was seeing him sitting on the sofa next to Graham Nash on the cover of CSN’s debut album. I dubbed them Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Not So Young.
C is for Concerts…
We haven’t been to any live shows in person in a year, but that hasn’t stopped musicians from performing. Thanks to the internet I’ve had just about all of my favorite bands (both local and national) streamed directly into my living room. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve actually needed an occasional break just so that these shows continue to feel special. I don’t want to take their talents for granted. I also don’t miss people talking while I’m trying to pay attention to the music.
D is for Disney+…
I may not work for Brother Wease anymore, but he still gifted me a year subscription to the streaming service that carries everything Marvel, Simpsons, Star Wars, Muppets, Pixar, and much more. It makes my nerdy little heart happy.
E is for Election…
Yeah, I know not everyone was happy with the results. I was. That’s all I’ll say about that.
F is for FC3.
FC3 is short for Flower City Comic Con. I met the organizers five or six years ago before they held their first convention, and since that time I’ve been part of the weekly FC3 podcast, Monkey Business. Every week we have an appropriately geeky topic that we plan on discussing, but that’s usually just an excuse to take tangents and try to make each other (and hopefully the listeners laugh).
We used to meet in person to record the show, but for the past year it’s been done online. Despite that it’s still nice to have a weekly chat with Chris, Tanya, Dan, and whoever else wants to join us… it helps things feel a little more normal. Hopefully the convention itself can return this year after a year off. We’ll see.
If you’d like to check out the FC3 Monkey Business podcast click HERE.
G is for Gatherings.
No, not the in person kind. This is what Boston based (and Rochester favorite) folk musician Adam Ezra has dubbed his nightly live stream. He plays songs, tells stories, talks to friends, and generally gives people something to look forward to on Facebook Live every evening at 7pm. Adam hasn’t missed a night in a year, and the same can be said for many of the Gatherers who join him nightly in the chat room. Friendships have been formed, and bonds have been forged that will last forever. Go to www.adamezra.com to watch the archived Gatherings, and to get more info.
H is for Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
I know that sounds weird. Let me explain.
I look forward to getting together with family and friends on Christmas Eve. Obviously that couldn’t happen in 2020, but either my brother Tom or sister Barb (I forget which one because they are both smarter than me) suggested we “meet at mom and dad’s” just like the old days.
Since our parents have been dead for a bunch of years we wouldn’t be getting together inside a house… we met at their graves at the cemetery. It may sound odd, but it was outside, socially distant, masks were worn when appropriate, snacks and beverages were consumed, gifts were exchanged, and lots of fun conversations took place. Luckily the weather was pretty good for December 24th in Rochester, N.Y. It was a neat way to spend a couple hours, plus Susan finally got to meet my mom and dad.
Hope by the time Christmas Eve rolls around this year my sister can safely have a houseful of folks.
Why are there fences around cemeteries? Because people are dying to get in.
I is for Ice cream.
Anyone who says they haven’t indulged in ice cream in the past year is lying.
J is for Jokes.
We’ve all needed laughs to get through the pandemic. I’m grateful for the Netflix specials, the late night hosts who figured out a way to prove the old adage that the show must go on, the old comedy records in my collection, and every one else who has figured out a way to make me laugh.
I’m also very glad that one of the best comedy clubs in the country is right here in Rochester, and that they have weathered the storm. Comedy At The Carlson will be back on April 2nd. Thank you Mark Ippolito, Todd Youngman, Vinnie Paulino, and everyone else responsible for making such a great club possible. I look forward to being part of the Carlsoncast podcast in the very near future. Go to www.carlsoncomedy.com for details.
K is for kitties.
I’ve told you about the houseful of cats my wife and I have. Even though they can occasionally be a pain in the ass, and it’s really sad when a pet dies like my writing partner Dora did a few weeks ago, I’m glad we have the five that currently fill our home. Shout outs for Precious the calico, Oliver the gray/brown tabby, Silent Bob the black cat, and gingers Daniel Tiger and Pi.
L is for Letter To You
Bruce Springsteen’s most recent album came out in October of 2020, and is tied as my favorite album of last year. You can read my review of that disc HERE.
Yes, I did say it was tied as my favorite record of 2020. You’ll have to wait to find out what I enjoyed equally.
M is for Masks… I thought Susan was overreacting when she wanted to have masks made in February. Once again she was the smart one and I was wr… wrrrooo…. oh nevermind, I already did the Fonzie joke. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I may wear one in public forever. I haven’t been sick in a year (unless you count the times I’ve eaten too much ice cream or something).
I’ve always had a ton of t-shirts to reflect the bands, comic books, sports teams, podcasts, etc… that I like. Maybe I’ll have to do that with face masks too. I bet there are some cool ones out there.
Have I mentioned lately that I have nothing to write about this week?
It seems I have so much nothing that I’m going to have to make it a two parter. I’m a slow typist and my brain is slowing down. Admit it, you’re pretty tired of reading right about now too.
The first thirteen letters of the alphabet are done, so I’m halfway through. I guess it’s like the vaccination… you just got dose #1, and I expect you back here next week for #2.
At least I won’t have to worry about what to write this next week. I guess that means I’m also grateful for that.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay happy. It’s almost over (I hope).