Team Jamerzil at the London Triathlon 2004
The Big Day
I had a bagel birthday breakfast with my team at work. Then spent three titillating hours discussing programs on automated identification systems and surveyor training. Ducked out of the office early for a jog home in the sunshine. Quick shower then over to Abigail's for some live entertainment in the form of a swingset show, a pasta dinner and a homemade birthday cake. Brilliant day!
Here's the set list Cheap Trick SHOULD have played last night.
1. Hello There
2. Everything Works If You Let It
4. I Know What I Want
5. I Want You To Want Me
6. Clock Strikes Ten
8. Dream Police
9. Gonna Raise Hell
10. Ain't That A Shame
11. One On One
12. If You Want My Love
13. Oo La La La
14. She's Tight
But they didn't. From this list, they only played 3. If you know Cheap Trick's music, you'll be able to guess that those 3 were:
I Want You To Want Me,
So the set list was the first problem. The second was the sound in the Shepherds Bush Empire. It's a small venue, but the sound was crummy. Problem number 3 was the pocket of rude, tall rocker dudes with poorly groomed long hair sprouting out of their bald patches that shoved their way in front of us. It was plainly evident that this was not my kind of crowd when the audience erupted with applause and sang along to every word when the band played The Flame. Barf.
Those traumas aside, Cheap Trick were in fine form. Rick Nielsen played his signature licks on various guitars (though not as many as at last year's Royal Albert Hall Show) including a double necked axe fashioned into a likeness of Rick himself. He bounded around the stage and on and off a platform, all the while flicking hundreds of guitar picks into the audience, one at a time. I got two.
Thom West would have given a thumbs up to the fine beats of Bun E Carlos on the drums. And what's his face still has the same strong voice, able to sound smooth or just-on-the-verge-of-screaming rough. Oh yeah, it's Robin Zander.
All three times I've seen Cheap Trick live, I've come away feeling happy. This foursome have fun on stage. No fancy antics, just pure rock and roll music. I'd love to see them again.
What are they saying?I asked Mark, the spinning instructor, how his triathlon training was coming along.
His response: "I was really naught for six at the weekend, if you know what I mean, so I'm going to have to take it easy".
No, in fact, I did not know what he meant. Did he get injured? Drunk? Did he do six events over the weekend and win them all? Or lose them all?
After some inquiries I learned that the expression is actually "knock for six" (I misheard him) and it derives from the game of cricket. If a ball is knocked for six, it is hit a long way and that batsman automatically gets six runs, akin to a home run in baseball.
Another cricket term used in daily language is "hat-trick". When taking three wickets in three successive deliveries a bowler is said to have achieved a hat-trick. One of the harder feats to achieve in the game it used to be the cause for the bowler being given a hat. We hear it now most often by football (soccer) commentators.
New York Doll diedArthur Kane, the bassist for the New York Dolls, died of leukemia last Tuesday in LA. It's so strange having seen him on stage just a few weeks ago. At the bequest of Morrissey, once president of the The New York Dolls fan club, the group reunited and played 2 shows at London's South Bank. They hadn't played together in nearly 30 years. Kane didn't look all that lively, but I put it down to a rock 'n' roll lifestyle. The sounds coming out of his bass were superb.
Bus talkWhilst riding the bus to my photography class at Morley College, a guy sat next to me and started unwrapping his new Pixies DVD. He looked at the photos and read the liner notes on the insert. When he was putting the DVD back in his bag, I had to ask him if he had seen the show last month. He had. And like Brian, he had to pay a lot of money through eBay to get tickets.
Back in his school days, he and his mates would discuss what band they'd most like to see if they ever reformed. The Pixies were the unanimous top choice. So when he heard the Pixies were coming to London, he was going to do whatever it took to get tickets for them all. His mates came down from the North and they all went to the show together. What a great story! I'm glad I asked.
All seasons in a day
I went to Hampstead Heath this morning to shoot my photography assignment. BBC weather for London showed a cloud, a sun and a raindrop. Typical England.
When I arrive on the Heath, puffy white clouds floating against the blue sky are making a vibrant color contrast. I have black and white film loaded. Rats. I find an old tree trunk reflecting some nice light and finish off the roll.
Velvia now loaded, I climb the dirt path to my favorite bench, serenaded by the insects chirping in the long summer grass on either side. Joggers pass me in 60 second intervals, looking happy and healthy. They're all over the Heath and I long to be running alongside Abigail, sorting out my latest dilemma.
I have my fisheye lens and start with a few curved horizon shots, getting lots of blue sky and white cloud. I'm trying for a textural close-up of a log but the light is suddenly gone. I feel ice starting to pelt my bare skin. Only nine shots into the session and I'm caught in a hail storm. I take cover under a leafy oak tree, take one shot of the path now covered with white ice pellets and hope the sky clears quickly. Ten minutes later the hail has turned to rain and I can't see another soul. Another couple minutes and a soaked jogger passes me. Perfect! I'm in my running shoes and have my camera backpack so I can run home. On my way down the Heath I pass a few people in various states of element coping. People with big dogs don't seem to mind the wet, and their big dogs just run around in the rain like kids jumping through a sprinkler. The small dog people are huddled under branches and their small dogs look out rather miserably at the rain spoiling their grand sniffing adventure.
Long London LunchBrian and I had a fabulous lunch at Busaba Eathai. There's another location that I didn't know about, just off Tottenham Court Road. I had a Butternut pumpkin curry and green papaya salad with a mango lassi. A bit much for a mid-day meal, but I went swimming this morning so felt that I earned it.
For "pudding" we went to Patisserie Valerie in Soho and I had chocolate mousse, which I hadn't earned but which was one of those heavenly experiences you don't pass up.
This morning at the pool I tried to keep up with the fast girl in the lane. She was doing breast stroke and I could hardly keep up doing free. Turned out the fast girl was Abigail!
RushThe spinning instructor yelled out to the class, "Don't rush it!" I could feel the electrical current jumping the synapses in my nervous system as my brain thawed out memories relegated to cold storage. Don't rush. So familiar. But in two different contexts from my past. What were they?
Ah yes. The first one in another athletic situation. Early morning crew practice on Lake Washington. Coach Bob Earnst's voice crackling through the megaphone, drilling it's way to a permanent corner of my grey matter..."Don't rush it on the slide!"
A minute later the second, earlier memory bubbles into my consciousness. Meg Dezel conducting the junior high orchestra through a ritardando.