Showing posts from June, 2009

How I Learned to Drink Tequila

My friend Chuck loves tequila. During trivia one year, he drank one shot per hour for the whole 50 hours, he said after a while he didn't get any more drunk, he just leveled off. I, on the other hand, don't like tequilla so much, I find the taste to be somewhat unpalatable, but I think the same thing about J├Ągermeister and drink it anyway. Only once did I ever have a truly exceptional tequila. My friend Jeff had been in the wedding party of a college friend who married a Mexican girl whose family business was making the stuff and each of the groomsmen received a silver hip flask filled with the family's private reserve. That stuff tasted like ambrosia! It was smooth and delicious, there was no need to pollute the taste with salt and lime. If I could get a hold of some of that again I would do so gladly. Back to Chuck. For several years in a row he would show up at my birthday party with his bottle of tequila in hand and would insist that I do a shot with him. I hated i

The Bob Hope Story

This has to have been almost 20 years ago now, it was a whole career ago for me and I was still driving a delivery van for the St. Cloud Times so I'd have to put it in the early 90s, I got a call from a friend of mine asking if I wanted to play a "pick up" gig in Montevideo, MN backing up Bob Hope. Who wouldn't say yes to that? A whole bunch of us from St. Cloud piled into a van and drove there for an afternoon rehearsal led by Mr. Hope's musical director named Jeff. We only saw Mr. hope for a few moments at the end of the rehearsal to run a gag he'd do during the song Buttons and Bows. As Music Director Jeff explained it, the gag went like this: the band would kick into Buttons & Bows and vamp the first four measures while Bob would talk to the audience, Bob would then cut off the band, tell a joke and count the band off again. This would happen as many times as Bob saw fit, and then he'd continue with the song. Near the end of the song t

Itasca State Park - June 2009

My Itasca State Park trip didn't start the way I wanted it to. I got up and cleaned the house as planned, took care of the cat box, recycling, got the garbage out to the alley and just needed to run a few errands in order to be out of town by 1 or 1:30. I gassed up my car, took it in for an oil change, ran to the roastery to pick up a few essentials and then headed to the grocery store and liquor store to provision up for the trip. The last thing I bought was a 20 lb. bag of ice which I put it in my trunk, all ready to go home and pack up the cooler. I got into my car, turned the key and was met with a click. "What the fuck?!" I wondered, and turned the key again. Click. "No fucking way!" My car wouldn't start. I'd had a recent bout of forgetting to turn off my headlights and draining my battery -- twice in one week, so that was the first thing I checked. There was no way I could have been in the grocery store long enough to drain the battery, a