There is another more recent song that pushes my button, too. And like Cocker, the artist Carrie Rodriguez is no slouch. Raised in Austin, TX and schooled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Carrie strikes me as a gifted writer and musician. She has hit the Alt Country & Americana scene full blast over the last few years.
I found Carrie quite by accident, tooling around iTunes. Once I heard the song 50's French Movie I immediately had to hear the snippets of all of her songs. After listening to (and buying) the 2006 release Seven Angels On A Bicycle and the '08 followup She Ain't Me, I added her into the Lucky Dog favorite musician list; not just because of the sexuality of the song (which is undeniable) but because of the the authenticity of her songs, including 50's FM. Rodriguez's music strikes me as akin to that classic human cross between submissive and dominate. Her lyrics and music trampoline between "I know who I am and I know what I want" and "I'm willing to negotiate." I'm no music critic but that's real, authentic and basic. Not give & take. Give & get. Ain't that right..
Kim's lookin' good in that movie but based on what I hear and see from Carrie Rodriguez, she's got more mental meat on the bone and could give me a boner and make me blush. Give & get.
Once moved to California--in the middle of Silicon Valley to be exact, working in a serious job and thirty, for God's sake--the addiction held strong. There was a neat bar in Palo Alto that had four of those vertical machines. Always busy. There was a sign-up sheet and you had to play against the current winner. Sometimes for the price of a beer, sometimes for the cost of the game, and always for the pride and honor of being a great player.
There were some great players! Human machines that had set routes around the maze, that became enmeshed, like muscle memory, in their brain. They always followed the same route. I've never seen such focus. Remember, virtually every great company in the Valley had/has game rooms for the software writers and Pac-Man ruled, along with Foosball and air hockey. The Pac-Man game was called "eating corn" by the hard core player. "You wanna eat corn for a beer?", someone might ask.
I was over matched with those Geeks (aka millionaires) and I was extremely pleased when Nolan Bushnell, the Atari founder and Godfather of computer games (Pong) opened a "wholesome" little bar and arcade place (actually quite spacious) called Zaps. There the yups played shuffleboard, pool, every new game available, pinball and of course Pac-Man. This was a childish bar in retrospect, where the salesmen and reps of all the various start-ups would congregate on Friday night with their dates after some hot shot dinner somewhere; it was all very non-competitive. It was hard to be balls out with a happy high chilling you out. I could win there.
Zaps didn't last long. Even Nolan's cache and big bucks couldn't keep it cool. Oh well.
Pac-Man hibernated for a long time within my psyche, once in a while exploding out when a console would be found in some odd spot. And then one Christmas when the boys were young, Santa found a $9.95 Pac-Man game that plugged in to the TV, resplendent with the red ball atop the toggle apparatus. That was the big hit that Christmas and the boys played almost all day. Now, as young men they still on occasion will out of the blue pull out that little mini console, plug it into the television and yell out "Hey, Dad. You wanna eat some corn?"
Happy Birthday, old pal. Let's eat a little corn. Maybe one day we can go 256 boards without losing a life like Billy Mitchell did back in '99.
Shot in Durham using the team's aging Durham Athletic Park and the city's environs, the movie created a new cache around town for the Bulls and "The DAP." The venerable ballpark certainly became the hot ticket for the 30-something hip locals looking for the next new thing. And the young newbies that were continually moving into the area thanks to the Research Triangle Park and the universities just had to come out, too.
The old DAP
Early on we took the boys and their cousins to see The San Diego Chicken, who back then came to town once a year. It was like Christmas for the children. They were mesmerized by his antics. We bought the dolls, a video, t-shirts--the works. By season's end the boys had memorized all the video antics, had amassed rubber chicken feet, chicken masks and various other costume bits. They would dress up, turn on that tape and act out the whole thing. It was hilarious then and a joy to think about today. Over the years going to "The Chicken game" became a tradition within the tradition of going to the games.
At The DBAP the boys learned to score a baseball game at young ages, thanks to me bribing them with a nickle for a hit, a dime for a double, twenty-five cents for a triple and a buck for a homer while scoring. Amazing how that worked even though they seldom got the money for our mutual forgetfulness. The oldest son is a walking stat machine and can remember more about baseball than I've ever known. His brother is a more casual student of baseball's past, yet the long continuous history of baseball that we all embrace is something he appreciates fully. First year at DBAP
So I was heartened the other day when the boys came in to the kitchen where I was preparing hamburgers to grill and they asked "when are we all going to a Bulls game, Dad?"
Music to my ears. "Take me out to the ballgame..." Oh, if I could whisper play-by-play into little ears just one more time.