everything you ever wanted to know about nothing at all...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Now that everyone is here, can I please have your attention?

I've got nothing much to say this evening other than to provide a link to this website & to post a link to this song. Christie & Danny can vouch for it, it's a great song. It's one of those songs that I think will take people 5-10 years to understand it's greatness. At least that's what I'm telling myself, anyway. Here's a link to an mp3. It's a bit out there, but it has none of that "whiny guitar" that my mother doesn't like.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah -
"Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood"
Album: "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" (2006)

How that everybody's here
Could we please have your attention?
There is nothing left to fear
No now that bigfoot is captured
But are the children really right
Alright alright

There is danger in the night
There are things we can't control but
Will we give ourselves a fright
When we become less than human?
There are people
who say why oh why oh why?
Now there are other ways to die
Oh why oh why?

But upon this tidal wave
Oh god oh god
But upon this tidal wave
Oh god oh god
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood
Young Blood

We are men who stay alive
Who send your children away now
We are calling from a tower
Expressing what must be
Everyone's opinion
"They are going out to bars
and they are getting into cars
I have seen them with my own eyes."

They are child stars...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Ashes of American Flags-Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Girl in the War-Josh Ritter, the Animal Years

A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall-Bob Dylan, 1994

Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood-Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah

After the Parade-Dan Bern

Happy Monday, friends...


Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'll Make the Most of One Last Extra Hour...

Here's a trivia question for any native Detroiters who might be reading this blog. Which Detroit author had a Sports Radio program on Sunday evenings on WJR? The answer will be found at the end of the blog.

Anyway, I used to listen to this show every Sunday night from the ages of 10-13 (or so) when I lived in Waltz. It was a perfect end to the weekend, & I savored the last moments as I listened to the show when it was past my bedtime. When the Tigers were playing on Sunday nights, it was a suitable replacement.

Sunday night blogging (complete with a glass of Merlot) as an adult is also a suitable replacement. It was a busy three day weekend, yes that's right, a three day weekend. It started thankfully with a canceled golf league night on Thursday that resulted in Christie's treat at a nice restaurant we hadn't been to before called "Tony's Bistro". It was a bit fancy for my taste but it was good, none the less. Friday morning, I slept in 'til 7, & then proceeded to try for an hour to get tickets to the Bob Dylan concert in Interlochen. After an hour of hitting redial on the phone & refresh on the computer I finally got through on the computer to get two tickets, not great seats, but I'm sure there aren't many bad seats in such a small place. I found out a couple hours later that the show was sold out, so I was happy to get what I got.

Later Friday, I started to peel back the failing drywall & paint around my shower, which of course forced me to fix it. When Mike came over to go out to lunch, he took a look at it & we decided we could re-mud it in a few hours. We got it fixed. Now, I have the decision of whether I should keep the color the same or change it. I'm conflicted on this for several reasons. On the one hand, I have to repaint a couple walls anyway, so why not take the opportunity to try out a new color. On the other hand, repainting the whole thing would be quite a bit more work & I'm quite proud of my original color choice. Christie votes for changing it, but we'll see.

Saturday morning Christie & Heidi had a happy scrapbooker meeting, so I dropped Christie off to go with my sister while I went to my parent's house to hang out with Mom, Dad & Lucy. It was fun.

My old man & I bonded in a way that Schroeder men have for generations (well a couple, at least), by cutting grass. I forgot how much I love to mow grass. Like painting, there's instant gratification in knowing that your work is showing a noticeable difference. Later, I did some painting, too.

Today, Christie & I went to church with her parents & then we had a get together at Christie's grandparents house. A quick trip to the mall, a game of tennis, a trip to Butch's Beach Burritos (a delectable Sunday evening treat) & here I am.

My goals for the upcoming week? To get the bathroom painted, to finally do some caching, get a problem resolved at work, sell a little paint, work not much more than 48 hours & to realize that I can't make everybody happy. Here's hoping you can't meet your goals, too.

The answer to the trivia question is Mitch Albom. This radio show predated the afternoon show he had on WJR. If ever there was a knock on Mitch Albom is that he tried to do a bit too much, what with the columns, the books, the piano & the radio shows.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Five Hearts Breaking-Alejandro Escovedo, Gravity

To Live is to Fly-Townes Van Zandt

What a beautiful little song, by one of my favorite songwriters.

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, Amsterdam, 2007

All Tomorrow's Parties-Iron & Wine (song by the Velvet Underground)

Wild Horses-Iron & Wine (song by the Rolling Stones)

Happy Sunday evening, friends...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April Marches On

It's been a couple of years since Dan & I went to see the Decemberists at the new "Intersection" in Grand Rapids. They put on a good show, & from what I remember, I seemed to be one of the older members of the audience. I must've been 25 at the time. What does this have to do with anything? Well, Colin Meloy, the lead singer & songwriter of the Decemberists wrote the title of today's blog in his song "Gymnast, High Above the Ground" that I listened to today.

What I like about Brother Dan, among many other things, is that we like going to the same places. He also is a fan of the Cottage Bar, JW's (he turned me on to that place), the Shawmutt Inn (I turned him onto that place), Vertigo & the Bookman. I hope he finds similar places he likes when he comes back from Iraq to live in Indianapolis with Jill. Read all about his exploits, here.

April does March on, & I've turned the heat off in the house. I went to the driving range today to prep for the first night of golf league tomorrow. I never look forward to the first night of golf league because I know that my score will inevitably be higher than my usual high score, but that's okay, it's all for fun, right? Also, April has given us the NBA playoffs where the Pistons have taken a commanding 2-0 lead against Orlando & the Tigers have gotten off to a decent start. I've gotten in only one game of Tennis thus far, but I'm sure that will soon change. I also hope to pick up many caches with the new, used GPS Unit I inherited from Dan of the north.

Coming soon in May, Jr will be moving to Grand Haven, at the moment that's all I can think of for May, but maybe because there's no time like the present.

I know what you're thinking. Does this blog have a point? No. No, it doesn't. Isn't that the point of these blogs, to write down whatever random thoughts come into my brain? Probably not, but that's what I'm using it for today.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

This Wheel's on Fire-Bob Dylan, Brussels 2007
Gettin' By-Jackie Greene, Rusty Nails
St James Infirmary-Dave Van Ronk
Poets-The Tragically Hip, Trouble at the Hen House
Red Right Ankle-the Decemberists, Her Majesty, the Decemberists!

Happy Wednesday, friends!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Summers in Interlochen...

used to be about swimming in Duck Lake, tubing, bike riding, campfires, sightseeing, putt putt golfing. This summer there's a special guest coming to town, & I almost flipped when I heard the news. Interlochen would be the last place I ever thought I'd see a Bob Dylan concert, & I'm terribly excited about it. He's playing in Sterling Heights as well, but that's not nearly as exciting.

I hope Christie is excited about it, too. It sounds like she had a tough day.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Gospel-Charlie Sexton

if you're asking Jesus you better ask him please...

A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall-Bob Dylan, Sacramento, 2001

A Brilliant Disguise-Bruce Springsteen

John Wayne Gacey-Sufjan Stevens, Illinois

Thin Blue Flame-Josh Ritter, the Animal Years

Happy Friday, friends!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Sometimes you gotta do like Elvis did & shoot the damn thing out..."

There's a legend about Elvis Presley that he didn't like what he saw on television so he took a gun & shot his television. I kind of felt like that this evening watching CNN's coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. Don't get me wrong, I've only fired a gun once, & I don't plan on ever doing it again.

After showing a piece on the decision for NBC to show the killer's video, claiming that they themselves plan on using the video only sparingly, Paula Zahn interviewed a criminal expert who spouted off theories about what caused the shootings. Many psychologists were also interviewed. Paula Zahn then said that they would show a clip of the video to understand better what his feelings were. These types of interviews are nothing but titillation, if you ask me. Why not show porn on your news channel? Television & the internet have become an endless source of gluttony with the things that we have no business seeing or hearing. Want to know the details of Brittany Spears' divorce? Anna Nicole Smith's death? Cho's thoughts before murdering 30 people? There are several stations devoted to each subject.

I like Joyce's advice about seeing enough to know what to pray about. I'm now following that advice. And as long as we're adding words to live by, my mother's being "I want to walk as a child of the light" I'll try to come up with one of my own to live by. I'm going to try to forgive anyone who has ever done anything wrong either to me or to anyone else & hope they do the same for me. That's my prayer for the victims of the shooting, that they can rid themselves of the hate that must be understandably entering into their hearts towards the man who committed this horrendous act.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

A Good Man-Josh Ritter, The Animal Years

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues-Bob Dylan, Amsterdam 2007

There She Goes, My Beautiful World-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Gethsemane-Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag

Be something, be something fine!

Reservations-Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

i've got reservations about so many things, but not about you...

Good evening, friends...


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Inside the Museums, Infinity Goes Up on Trial

For those of you who didn't know, there's a new stair rail going up at the Detroit Institute of Art. My good buddy Mark is going to be staining & painting it. The bottom half is three feet or so high made of solid oak & will be painted/stained with a special blend of semi-solid alkyd paint, & the top half will be solid hard maple with a bright golden color & all of it will be topcoated with a polyurethane. It's quite large & detailed, & we just spent the last few hours working on a system to achieve the color & look of the sample requested. Let's hope it lasts as long as the museum. I saw a movie there once.


Five Favorite Songs of the Day

"En Gallop"-Joanna Newsom, The Milk Eyed Mendor

House of the Rising Sun-Bob Dylan, Newcastle 2007

In the Backseat-The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Crown of Love-The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Ain't Gonna Go to Hell For Anybody-Toronto, 1980

This is quite possibly the oddest song in the Dylan canon, but it works. See for yourself.
Happy Tuesday, friends!


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Rules of the Road Have Been Lodged

Yesterday was a perfect day for a drive. It was sunny & about 50 degrees at 1:00 pm when I headed east towards Auburn Hills for the Piston's game. I hadn't been to a Pistons game since I was in high school when I went with Lindsey Evans, Bill Garlick & Susan Rosa as the Pistons played the Phoenix Suns. This was back when the Piston's had Grant Hill as there star & the Suns had Charles Barkeley. Last night the Piston's played the Philadelphia 76ers. Before the game, I honestly couldn't name one of their players. The Pistons had already clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs & they didn't have much to play for, & it showed. The starters only played for about 15-20 minutes of the game & they got beat handily by Philadelphia's band of no-names. Oh well. I got to see the Pistons with one of my best pals, Ryan. We met before the game at Hoops & had dinner & a couple of drinks before the game & talked about just about everything. He's a good friend.

Even though the game wasn't anything to write home about, we still had a good time. As often is the case in life, the journey was just as exciting as the destination. Prior to the trip, I downloaded & burned almost all of the shows from Bob Dylan's latest European Tour. It was fun to turn the radio up as high as it would go & roll down the windows.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)-Bob Dylan, Amsterdam 2007

Bob finally remembered the fire & venom that can be found in these lyrics, & his singing matches them for the first time in years. This is quite possibly the best version of the song since the excellent solo acoustic versions from 1965.

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying.

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying.

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover
That you'd just be
One more person crying.

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Except hatred.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have
To stand naked.

An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you.

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks
They really found you.

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
Insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not fergit
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to.

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him.

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony.

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes
Must get lonely.

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me?

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

This Wheel's on Fire- Bob Dylan, Brussels 2007

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, Hamburg, 2007

Man in the Long Black Coat-Copenhagen, 2007

Simple Twist of Fate-Munster, 2007

Happy Monday, friends!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Oh life with it's shoulder in the mirror!

It was about a year ago that we had our dart tournament at the Kirby in downtown Grand Haven. These pictures are notable for many reasons. First of all, it shows two pictures of Christie on the first night I met her. I think, idiot that I am, that I beat her in darts. Secondly, it features pictures of both Junior (his name is Chris, but I don't think I've ever called him that ever since Dan & I dubbed him as Junior) & Ryan. For those of you who don't know them, Jr is the one to the right of Christie in the first picture with the black & white shirt punching on a calculator. Ryan is the one in the second picture to the left of Christie, also punching on a calculator. Junior & Ryan have alot in common, as far as I'm concerned. They're both incredibly smart, much smarter than I, but for both of them, due to their size & demeanor, you'd never know it by meeting them casually. Ryan was Valedictorian in his High School & has a health science degree from our alma mater, Grand Valley State University. He works at a hospital in downtown Detroit & people look up to him. Junior will soon have his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hope College. They're both incredibly cheap, er, thrifty. They could both easily live for a month off of a box of Ramen noodles, three dollars & 67 cents & a bag full of bottles. Both of them could talk to you about just about anything.

The third reason why the picture is significant is that it shows a picture of the eventual winner of the tournament, I don't even remember his name.

A year later, would you like to hear an update of our dart tournament contestants? Christie is currently sick with a cold. She's gone through about 28 lbs of Kleenex in the last few hours. I'll be seeing Ryan tomorrow, as we're meeting up to go to the Pistons game. I haven't seen him since New Year's day. I miss the big dumb animal. I'll see Junior on Tuesday at 7:00 am for work, provided he's not late. We'll each sip on Caribou Coffee for the first half our of work, discussing the weekend's events. What's happened to our winner? Who knows?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie-Joanna Newsom, the Milk Eyed Mendor

House of the Rising Sun-Bob Dylan, Newcastle, April 12, 2007

The Henney Buggy Band-Sufjan Stevens, the Avalanche

The Sky is Crying-Stevie Ray Vaughan

Here I Dreamed I was an Architect-the Decemberists, Castaways & Cutouts

Happy Saturday, friends...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Home is so Sad

Another 12 hour day at work & the prospect of working a couple more 55+ hours a week got me to thinking about the place I go home to at night. It's times like these when I wonder what it would be like to be at home during certain hours of the day.

Home is so Sad

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Philip Larkin, the Less Deceived

The week hasn't started off too good, my one day off was canceled due to some silly meeting I forgot about, & so I had to cancel spending time with three of my favorite people in the world.

However, my mother told me about how Ella walked into her surgery with complete confidence that everything would be okay & it made my day. It's either the faith of a child to know that everything will be okay or the fact that Ella is a remarkable little girl. I think it's both.

The Trapeze Swinger

Please, remember me
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin
The time when
We counted every black car passing
Your house beneath the hill
And up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range,
A piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

Please, remember me
I heard from someone you're still pretty
And then
They went on to say
That the pearly gates
Had some eloquent graffiti
Like 'We'll meet again'
And 'F&*k the man'
And 'Tell my mother not to worry'
And angels with their gray
Were always done in such a hurry

Please, remember me
At Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white
By midnight
We'd forgotten one another
And when the morning came
I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world
And then returned
And now you're lit up by the city

Please, remember me
In the window of the tallest tower call
Then pass us by
But much too high
To see the empty road at happy hour
Leave and resonate
Just like the gates
Around the holy kingdom
With words like 'Lost and Found' and 'Don't Look Down'
And 'Someone Save Temptation'

Please, remember me
As in the dream
We had as rug-burned babies
Among the fallen trees
And fast asleep
Aside the lions and the ladies
That called you what you like
And even might
Give a gift for your behavior
A fleeting chance to see
A trapeze
Swing as high as any savior

Please, remember me
My misery
And how it lost me all I wanted
Those dogs that love the rain
And chasing trains
The colored birds above there running
In circles round the well
And where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter's
So bright with cinder gray
And spray paint
'Who the hell can see forever?'

Please, remember me
In the car behind the carnival
My hand between your knees
You turn from me
And said 'The trapeze act was wonderful
But never meant to last'
The clown that passed
Saw me just come up with anger
When it filled with circus dogs
The parking lot
Had an element of danger

Please, remember me
And all my uphill clawing
My dear
But if i make
The pearly gates
Do my best to make a drawing
Of G-d and Lucifer
A boy and girl
An angel kissin on a sinner
A monkey and a man
A marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swingers


Iron & Wine

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine, February 10, 2007

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)-Bob Dylan, Amsterdam April 9, 2007

Life Worth Livin'-Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

Volver, Volver-Los Lobos, Just Another Band from East LA

All My Love in Vain-Sonny Boy Williamson, His Best, The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Happy Tuesday, friends.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Were You There?

Mom, did you sing this song last night? I sure do miss hearing you sing this. Unfortunately we didn't sing it in church last night. Johnny's version is pretty good, too. Sadly, one of the two most important days on the Christian calendar is one of the least attended in church.

Christie got a dose of the dark Lutheran Church Good Friday service last night. I almost warned her about the book closing at the end, but I didn't & she jumped a bit.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Nature Boy-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Lyre of Orpheus/Abattoir Blues

Were You There?-Johnny Cash & the Carter Family

Roll on John-Bob Dylan, The Cynthia Gooding Radio Show, 1962

May It Always Be-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Ease Down the Road

If I Had the World To Give-the Grateful Dead, Shakedown Street

Happy Easter, friends.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Another One of them Endless Days...

The open to well past close work days are starting to become the norm these days. 63 1/2 hours of work last week & already two very long days this week have left me a bit strung out. Tomorrow looks like another long one, as my assistant will be driving a rental truck all day delivering paint. At least I'm seeing the fruits of my labor, sales are very good in the first few days of the second quarter. Enough boring paint store talk.

(from the concert I attended in Toronto, August 16, 2002)

Bob Dylan is on tour again, playing all across Europe. Year 19 of the Never Ending Tour is underway. What's notable about this tour from the last few years is that the old man is playing guitar for the first time since 2003. I liked the keyboards somewhat, but when he switched to this high-pitched baseball stadium style organ in 2006, it kind of ruined the sound of the band.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Poisoned Rose-Elvis Costello

I'm So Gone-Jackie Greene

Ballad of a Thin Man-Copenhagen, 1966

SHHH/Peaceful-Miles Davis, In a Silent Way

Tokyo Storm Warning-Elvis Costello

Happy Tuesday, friends...


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Did They Know He was the Son of God, Did They Know that He was Lord?

Palm Sunday got me thinking about how much faith the disciples must've had in the days when Jesus walked the earth. To put it in perspective, think about any crazy cult that's popped up in any of our lifetimes, & how people always dismiss them, for good reason. This must be the same thing people in Jesus' day thought about Him. He was laughed at, called crazy, & eventually killed for the things He said & did. Now, don't think I'm comparing Christianity to some fly by night cult, I'm just saying that the same stigma was probably attached to Christianity in those days. I think as Christians sometimes we have it a bit too easy. Being called a Christian is very much a norm in our society, so much so that often we take for granted our freedom to express our beliefs freely. I guess it's what we do with our beliefs that makes a difference. As I often tell my friend who isn't a Christian, it's very easy to scientifically discount the story of the resurrection. There's no scientific basis for someone rising from the dead. Isn't that what faith is all about, believing the unbelievable?

In other news, Christie, Kelly & I went to see Reign Over Me last night. It was pretty good, not great, entertaining if nothing else. Everybody talks about how much a difference it is for Adam Sandler to be playing a serious role, however, I almost think he plays a similar character to many others he's played in the past, except this time it's in a serious script.

I also think that he was made to look like another famous character.

For all you Three Stooges fans out there, check this out. This is the funniest thing I've seen in ages.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Charm of the Radio-Kevin Davis

The Way-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Masters & Everyone

Freedom Hangs Like Heaven-Iron & Wine, Woman King

Summer Days-Bob Dylan, Love & Theft

A Hit-Smog, Accumulation: None

Happy Sunday, friends!


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...