greatbear: (aerial me)
Today at the Laurel Amish market, I notice I out-bearded all the Amish men in the place. I also laughed as I was entering the place and saw one of those guys, perhaps my age or so, sitting outside on a bench, smoking, and starting intently at his smartphone, swiping and tapping like an old pro. One thing I have noticed with a lot of the Amish in the area where Jeff grew up, while the horses and buggies are de rigueur, the buggies have LED lighting in a lot of cases, and a good many have cell phones, some are even smartphones. The whole idea of cell phones works with their belief systems in a way that regular landlines couldn't, since they have control of them and can turn them on and off. They help them in their work, and let them keep in touch in emergencies. But seeing this one fella today zipping through screens made me almost lose it. Is there a Scruff or Growlr for Amish?

The place also employs a fair amount of non-Amish, usually high school and college types who are off for the summer. So it was just as strange when a young lady working at the produce counter asked us if we saw Rush at Jiffy Lube Live (we had out merch on from the show). A bit surprised, we said yes, and she informed us she had also been there. We had a nice little discussion as we gathered our produce and paid for it.

That is one high-tech, rockin' Amish market.
greatbear: (mad rushin')
Yesterday evening Jeff and I headed down to Nissan Pavilion Jiffy Lube Live to see my boys, Rush. We had the tickets for several months, and now was finally the time to see my favorite band perform their "Time Machine Tour" which, among other older songs, the entirety of Moving Pictures album was the highlight. I had purposely avoided reading the setlist on fan pages, blogs and the like. Doing so kept the songs a complete surprise as each one opened. And damn what a setlist! I swear this band has only gotten better over the years.

rush1


As I said previously, we had these tickets for quite a while and that was before I started having serious issues with my lower spine. As this day approached I was worried and sometimes downright upset that I might not be able to make it to the show, since there's more than a fair amount of standing and walking involved. Still, I made it my mission to ignore all that, after all, this is my band we're talking about. But make it I did. After finding my way to the seats, the band was spot-on, they played most of my favorites, with lots of surprises to boot.

But why was I disappointed? )

A few more photos from the concert are in this Flickr set.

We have tix for Cirque du Soliel next Saturday. I think I'll try the best I can to get to that show too. After that, I'll have to wait and see. We gave up tickets for a Penn State football game we had for a while, since there was no way in hell I could do that amount of walking, even if I were to be dropped off right at the stadium doors. We do have tickets for the final game at the end of November. With luck I'll be healed up enough. If not, maybe he can take a friend. I don't want him to miss out on his guys.
greatbear: (jeff and me)
Often is the time I regretted getting to know someone. In this case, it was [livejournal.com profile] danbearnyc, whose erudite commentary seemed found in so many friend's entries. Being already saddled with an overly large 'friends list' and having trouble keeping up with everyone as it was, I have been hesitant adding even more folk to my alphabet soup knowing that it would undoubtedly result in my missing compelling content. It was either that, or spend even more time than I had keeping up with LJ, time which seems more scarce every day. While I had been keeping true to my feeling that I should get to know more people as I find them interesting (and have done pretty recently, and been very grateful), Dan's near ubiquitous presence throughout a good part of my sphere of LJ interactions kept me in the loop of his influence, reminding me that one day I'll step into his world.

Now it's too late.

So many unexpected things happen in life, and, as I have painfully discovered in recent years, there's always a chance that someone you'll want to get to know, or get to know better, might not be around tomorrow. I place a high value in those relationships, even if they exist solely in the electronic realm. Meeting someone for the first time that I have gotten to know well through being "cyber pen pals" is a magical experience. Few things in life have such a profound effect on one's self as coming into contact with someone you had never met in person prior, yet the feeling is that you have known this person for years (and indeed this can be the case). The joy I have felt in these meetings is palpable, and stays with me. I have promised myself to continue with getting to know people like this who enrich my life and make being on this rock floating in space a happier experience. It reached a peak with Jeff and I. Events in my recent past regarding my health, circumstances and such have put me into somewhat of a retreat mode, but I at least can peer out among the prime of humanity through my little electronic bedroom window and feel enriched by their presence and maybe, hopefully, befriend these folk and feel I belong. With luck, the electronic will become real, and that enveloping joy will be mine (ours) to experience time and time again.

And hopefully, before it's too late.
greatbear: (forearms)
The other day I was sitting in the waiting room of my physical therapist. For some reason I mixed up the time, and arrived about 45 minutes early. No biggie. There was a Car and Driver magazine on the table to keep me company. Then there was a baby crying, coming from one of the areas. Great. Not tool long afterward, a woman came out, carrying the baby in a bassinet/car seat thing. I figured it would be time for some silence. She then looked at me and said "I know you", to which I said, "You do?" "Yep, you're Phil. I used to live up the street from you." There was this vague familiarity, but I could not place a name to the face. She said her name is Myra. It was then a huge OMG moment with all the hugs and howareyas. The kicker is, I had not seen Myra since before high school. We were friends back then, since we had gone to elementary and middle school together and rode the same bus. Her family moved a short distance but that put her in a different high school.

I was completely floored that she recognized me. I said that I had less gray in the beard back then. And lots more hair. Well, okay, one was a lie. Still, I don't look very much like I did as a kid for the most part. Some folk do have that uncanny knack for faces and names, something that eludes me. As my brain dusted off and fired up some decades-old memory banks, I recognized her as well (despite the time that passed), and we had a good time talking. She is now a grandmother, living only a short distance from where I used to live. She had married a man that also went to the same schools as she did, he was the one who was at the place having therapy done for a really messed up hand and arm. We said our goodbyes and I had one of those incredulous grins that turn up in such circumstances which lasted me for the rest of the day.

Here was a perfect demonstration of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Despite all the years, all the moving, etc, two people who have not seen each other in nearly 35 years will cross paths and will reconnect, even for an instant. Life is cool like that sometimes.
greatbear: (blackness)
I havent had much of a mind towards any meaningful updates to this blog-like mess in recent days. Too many disconnected thoughts, ennui, anger, disgust and outright hatred of political figures and current events, distractions... pick one, pick 'em all, they are not only keeping me from doing anything here, but also making me live a shuttered, insular, almost hermit-like existence lately. While the recent jaunt to NYC was a nice (and needed) little excursion, it was mostly just a shaft of light shining down into a grey, quiet life I've been leading. Like a focused spotlight on a darkened stage, I just stood in it for a while till it eventually extinguished and I went back to my usual routines. Such has been the norm for a while.

I have a great deal to be thankful for and happy about, don't get me wrong. I just tend to keep those things close to me. For some reason though, I am letting things mostly outside of my control get to me. This country, this world is a mess, and there is no sign of it improving. I am sick to death of politics, and I'd like to simply ignore it all if it weren't for the fact that it involves and is directed at me and my friends most of the time. I am angry about corporate power grabs that increase every day and cost me money and take away my rights. I harber a particularly bileful brand of ire for religion and how it has become nothing more than a mental illness and is keeping people ignorant, manipulatable and in constant fear. Right now, the only thing keeping me from exploding and taking it out on some other human is my being able to get away from it all and temper my occasional rage.

I feel fortunate that I have more friends now than at any other time in my life. I also find that a lot of these friends are under similar pressures in some ways. I am also frustrated that many of them are either unaware of some of the issues causing problems, or worse, choose to ignore them. I help where I can, and am glad when it's appreciated.

I guess part of my 'problem' is caused by my empathic nature. I care about people. My empathy, however, is countered by the feeling that people are the sum of their actions. To me, if someone's existence centers around, say, taking advantage of or harming others, that person is disposable. I will feel no pain whatsoever if such an individual gets his 'just desserts', or worse. It's an odd mental space to be in.

I've got to find a means to take this negative energy and somehow use it in a positive way. The gym is an option, but to be honest, the ones around here seem to be filled with self important types looking to socialize. I have to find an old-fashioned powerlifting gym that scares away the 'socialites'.

My own entries into my blog have pissed me off to the point of not completing them. The "Music And Your Rights" series I have been continuing has reached a point of such absurdity in regards to what the 'media companies' are trying to accomplish (and, unfortunately, succeeding) that I don't even want to see the words I have written. Greed knows no boundaries anymore, and I feel trying to let people know the 'deal' is falling on deaf ears.

My blog will continue to exist, but at this point I am not sure in what form. Mostly it is just a gateway into my friends list right now, which is where I spend my time with it. You'll see comments from me, but not much in the way of my own entries until I sort out things in my life.

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Phil

December 2016

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