Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Pork and Beans"

New Weezer single:

Weezer (The Red Album)

Weezer, the band most site as the fathers of today's "emo" movement have gone from fresh-faced rockers to gray haired, semi-responsible adults. The problem with the last Weezer record, MAKE BELIEVE, was that the band did nothing we haven't seen them do before--most of the time done much better. That cant' be said, thankfully, of the new record.

Weezer's latest self-titled record WEEZER (to be hence forth referred to as THE RED ALBUM), is a healthy mix of what makes Weezer great with some fresh new-ness. There are tight, catchy singles like "Pork and Beans" and "Troublemaker." There are aggressive rap-rock tracks that are surprisingly effective--"Everybody Gets Dangerous." The Everclear-like ballad, "Heart Songs" sounds like a quieter/more laid-back version of "AM Radio."

Someone gave Weezer some old Brian Wilson-era Beach Boys records too, because I hear a lot of PET SOUNDS influences, especially on the lengthy multi-layered "Dreamin." The ghost of Freddie Mercury is present on the "Bohemian Rhapsody" inspired "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived." That track in particular must be heard to be believed. It runs the gambit of several musical styles/genres and is truly a masterwork (I mean, for a rock band).

Some of the rumors I heard surrounding this record made it sound like lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo was leaving the band. After listening to the album I understand how this (false) rumor originated--for the first time Cuomo doesn't sing all the songs (which may be a bit jarring for some people, but I had no problem with this).

THE RED ALBUM isn't perfect. Like a lot of Weezer albums it's heavily front-loaded (the first three songs are all singles). Most people will probably get all the way to the end once or twice. I found the later track "Cold Dark World" tedious and unnecessary. Out of ten songs, of the last five only two were really any good ("Dreamin" and "Automatic" (which isn't a Cuomo song)).

Leaps and bounds better than their last effort, THE RED ALBUM will be hated by most hard-core Weezer fans (as is tradition, they always loath the band's most current album--until a new one to hate comes out). The band ditched all the keyboards from the previous record and returned to a harder, more familiar sound--all the while still branching out into new areas. I can't wait to see what the videos will be like. Oh, and Rivers need to lose the stash...he looks ridiculous.

Jason gives WEEZER (THE RED ALBUM) a "B+"

Happy Birthday John Bonham!!!

For the past two years of this blog's existence, I've paid tribute to one of hard-rock's greatest drummers--Led Zeppelin's John Bonham. It's a tradition. It's just what I do.

The story goes: two years ago I was driving along on one of my (highly unusual) off hours. At the time I was working all kinds of crazy overtime (day shift security in Kansas City). Anyway, I was running to the store (probably an errand for my Dad), when I heard "Nights With Alice Cooper" (which is/was actually a really cool radio show hosted by shock rocker Alice Cooper). Old Alice was talking about how it was John Bonham's birthday---and how Bonham accidentally drank himself to death.

I admire Bonham for his talent (and ability to rock) but little else. He's your typical dead rock-guy: he was dirty, loud, and abused all sorts of substances. To me, Bonham's just as much a warning on the dangers of pride as he is rock 'n roll royalty...but he is royalty, and no matter how messed up his story is--there is no denying the man could pound the hell out of a set of drums.

Usually they have a moment of silence for these sort of sombre occasions---here at THOUGHTS OF A LIMEMONKEY we do things a little different. So instead of quiet, bring on the noise:

And if you get the time (or the inclination) check out some of these links for more Bonham-ness:

The Wiki Bio

Led Zeppelin's Official Site

A Video of Bonham Playing "Moby Dick" Live

Friday, May 30, 2008

End of My First Week---Limeonkey Life UPDATE

So today was the end of my first week at my new job. Don't know about it? Here's what happened (the short version):

Last Thursday I went and got a night shift security job. It was Monday-Friday overnights. The pay was $10. The place was 100% nicer than Uni-Guard, and the guys running it were eager to snap me up (cos I have SO much experience...). So I took it, because I was desperate.

I went home and Leah's dad called me. Then Leah's oldest sister called me--the two of them convinced me to not take the security job. Instead--I went to work for Leah's old man, at his pallet business.

I've avoided this, since I don't like the idea of mixing family and jobs. BUT times are tough, and I gotta start looking out for what's best (as opposed to ideal) for me and Leah. So I took the job. He's paying me $2 an hour more than the other place would. That's good. The bad is: the place is crazy/poorly run, dirty (we have no working bathroom--only porta-johns), his employees are drug addicts/thieves, and the person who is supposed to be training me thinks (correctly) that once I know her job she's going to be canned.

Welcome to the jungle, we got fun 'n games.

What the hell is my job? Well right now I'm an "Assistant Office Manager," but the goal (David's goal, not mine) is to become THE Office Manager. I do a little of everything. This week I: worked on purchasing, ran deposits to the bank, printed checks to pay for EVERYTHING imaginable, brought his place closer to OSHA standards by buying those wage-sign thingys, I filled a Pepsi vending machine, made copies, answered the phones, faxed invoices, negotiated a handful of sales, looked up driving directions for some of his drivers, tried to make sense of his accounting practices, swept the floors, took out the trash, located a missing tractor trailer (yes, it IS possible to lose one of those), and found out that when you get pinched by the fuzz and you go to county jail--they only give you two baloney sandwiches a day (you get water when they take you out to piss).

In short, I do a lot up there--I wear a lot of hats. Which is good, because I'm hoping to make myself more marketable (yes, I need money, but what I really need is experiance and that's more valuable).

Anyway, that's what I've been doing. I'm tired...I'm gonna go sit down.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Same Old Man

I love John Hiatt.

He's probably one of the best/consistent singer-songwriters...ever. I got into Hiatt after seeing him open for B.B. King out at Starlight (an awesome, though little-used outdoor venue in Kansas City). It was an amazing set--he was out promoting THE TIKI BAR IS OPEN (great, great album). Anyway, Hiatt stole the show that day and I've been following him ever since.

Pretty much everything he's put out since 2000/2001 has been quality. His last album, 2005's MASTER OF DISASTER is still in rotation when I take trips across the state. So, when I heard he had a new album coming out--I was excited. SAME OLD MAN is not a bad record, it's just a poor Hiatt album.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty to like--the bluesy shuffle of "Old Times" (which is a nice story/song about his early career) and the title track "Same Old Man" are two great tracks. Love them. But SAME OLD MAN suffers from too many low-tempo love songs: "Our Time," "Two Hearts," and the borderline annoying "On With You" which has Hiatt repeating over and over--"I just wanna go on with you."

I was really saddened by how lackluster some of the writing was, too. MASTER OF DISASTER had some incredibly memorable lyrics (the title track's poetic wordplay still pops into my head from time to time). SAME OLD MAN has a few stand-out moments, like in the albums best love song "Let's Give This Love a Try" where Hiatt sings "I’d rather be in a barrel of salt and pickle brine with a 1000 paper cuts" That's so crazy I couldn't help but smile.

I don't mind the sleepier side of John Hiatt, I just whish he'd bring his A-material if all we're going to get are slower ballads. Again, I'm a perhaps I'm judging him too harshly. Forgetting his other decades of success, during the past 8 years Hiatt hasn't (in my opinion) put out a "bad" record...that said, I think this one could have used a little more punch. Musically and lyrically--I found it to be Hiatt's weakest outing since I starting following him.

Not what I'd encourage new listeners to start with (THE TIKI BAR IS OPEN or CROSSING MUDDY WATERS is where you should begin, unless you just want to buy the GREATEST HITS CD). Still, it's admirable that unlike most of contemporaries Hiatt is still writing and recording new music, rather than relying on his past hits.

I still love John Hiatt, I just wasn't blown away by this album.

Jason gives SAME OLD MAN a "C+".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Look what was waiting for me when I got home...

Yeah. I could talk about the new job (as a "Office Manager"). I could bitch about my crazy day. I could--and I was. But then I came home and saw what Leah made for me:

and suddenly I don't care about anything (but Leah). I miss you Leah, come home soon! Oh, and thanks for the gingerbread cookies!

Friday, May 23, 2008

In defense of (the new) Dr. Jones

Geez...of all the things to come out of retirement for!

Okay, so the new INDIANA JONES movie came out this week. I'm sure you heard about that. Anyway, a lot of people on the Internet are cutting it to pieces (basically saying it's either crap and/or terrible). I just saw it two hours ago, and I have to disagree.

I went in a skeptic, but frankly--they pulled off an 20+ years later Indy movie. Sure, it's the 1950' it feels a little off at first (no Nazi baddies), but the first 10-15 minutes will BLOW you away (my favorite scene in the whole movie revolves around a plastic/fake "city," I'll say no more). The movie is solid all the way until the end (which is a bit anti-climatic). But all things considering it's well worth seeing.

In the summer of 1989, I went and saw THE LAST CRUSADE at the Drive-In (back in KC). It was fucking amazing, it blew my little kid mind. This flick will do the same for all those little kiddies that are too young to have seen an Indy film "new" in the theaters. Look, I won't argue with the haters--RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is better...but guess what? I was a sperm and an egg in 1981. I missed that boat. I saw on TV/VHS/DVD and I love it. But it's what I grew up with. I grew up with seeing this stuff on a little TV screen. ANY INDIANA JONES movie on the big screen is going to make me happy, if only because I've grown up with the character--but not when it's "new."

Does that make sense?

It's like the STAR WARS Prequels--even though they weren't as good as the originals, I'm glad they were made so I could get the chance to see a brand new STAR WARS movie.

Bottom line: go into it with the sole intent to be entertained. Don't think about it, just enjoy it. Also, as an aside, Harrison Ford STILL kicks ass.

Little Green Men.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

(Probably) Returning Soon

What's been going on in my world? Well I'll get to that...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flickr Photostream

I've been adding some of my "best of" photos onto Flickr. I don't have a paid account, so I can't upload a lot...but I am putting some new stuff up, too. Go check out the pictures I took over the last weekend of some Buffalo.

Go here

Wade in the stream.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Until further notice I'm officially on "hiatus."

Since I started this blog, I've been fairly consistent about updating it--that however is about to change. For various reasons (some of them apparent, some that will become apparent), I have decided to concentrate my efforts elsewhere.

Thoughts of a Limemonkey has always been a positive outlet for me to keep in touch with many people (including my family) far and wide--and I will miss that.

Many see life as a river, endlessly flowing--if that's true, then I have encountered what many would call rapids. Until I can successfully navigate these troubled waters, I will be absent from this website.

I'd appreciate it if you'd kindly send me some prayers, positive "vibes," good karma--whatever your particular belief.

Thank you and goodbye---

The Limemonkey

First Smoking, Now My Fat Ass

So my family like TV. I know, I's embarrassing...

Anyway, apparently they like watching BIGGEST LOSER or AMERICA'S BIGGEST LOSER (or whatever) which is a weight loss show. For once, it seems, TV has actually helped people LOSE weight--go figure.

My sister Amber decided to do more than watch, she's started a weight loss competition/support club. Leah joined (wedding), my Dad I joined. We all got up and weighed ourselves, and Amber is figuring our BMI today.

If this post sounds a little angry/bitter, it's because Wendy's just re-opened out here in STL-land (it's been over a year since we had a Wendy's in my neck of the woods). But whatever. This is a competition...and being as competitive as I am--I aim to win. One thing already on my side is, I'm the fattest person. Normally this would be a bad thing, but the more I weigh, the more I have to lose. So for once, my fat ass is actually working towards something positive.

I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Oh, and as a side note--I sold my bobble-head for $36 on eBAY this weekend. Go figure.

UPDATE: I almost forgot, I weigh 233.4 lbs.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mastodon State Historic Site

Today, on our mutual day off--Leah and I went for a hike.

She's a real out-doors person (which basically means she doesn't run away when a bug goes flying by, like I do). I wish I was like that sometimes. Anyway, she's been planning to do something outdoors-y for a while, so I just went along for the ride. We drove South and found the place without any effort. It's a nice little trail that winds around and up a bunch of limestone cliffs. There was a pretty fair amount of human activity near the tail-head (picnic tables with smiling families, plus we passed a handful of people).

Of course we brought the dog with us.

He's a wimp, like me--he's so excited when he gets into the car...but by the time we get him home, he has this look on his face like "don't ever make me go outside again, it's tiring and hot...let me stay in my nice air-conditioned apartment."

He loved it. Like me, he enjoys having Leah drag him along a rocky trail. There were plenty of things to sniff and piss on. So he was happy.

The trail wound up this steep hill, eventually we found the limestone cliffs.

They were alright. Compared to the "oh shit, we are gonna die" of the last time we went hiking, this trail was pretty tame. Still, it was good to get out. I really enjoyed the way the limestone acted like a natural "pot" for the various greenery. It was like seeing the most eco-friendly garden on the planet.

It's sort of a miracle, the way life pushes itself into every little nook and cranny.

Along the trail, while looking for fossils (which I saw, mostly just sea shells)--I kept finding these little abandoned snail shells.

They were almost as numerous as the rocks. It was strange. Now we're back home, about to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (a day early) like the good Gringos that we are. Hope your Sunday was as good as mine, cheers!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Went and saw IRON MAN last night--it was fantastic.

I love seeing these big, "event" movies on opening night. Why? Because the crowd that's there is so enthusiastic. In case you don't know, IRON MAN is about a guy who's in the weapons business. A rich jerk (though a cool rich jerk), Tony Stark profits from the sale of death (essentially). Then one day something bad happens to thing he knows, he's being held by terrorist (this time in Afghanistan--rather than Vietnam like the comic books). These guys want Tony to build them weapons, or they're going to kill him. Being a genius, Stark builds something alright...but not a missile for his new friends.

From there the story of IRON MAN is all about a guy who finally wakes up and realizes that he's been the "problem" his entire life. As an act of retribution, he decides to start being the "solution." It's great to watch, and better than the typical superhero story because Stark never becomes that lame-ass spandex wearing Boy Scout (I'm looking at you Superman).

The film's effects were brilliantly realized (though most of what you see if absurd, it looks pretty damn real). Also, Robert Downey Jr. really gets to shine here. I've seen two films this year with Downey in them, and both have been fantastic (the other being CHARLIE BARTLETT). I'm so glad that guy got clean, because he's such a good actor.

Overall, IRON MAN was a good start to what many are predicting will be one of the best Summer Movie Seasons in decades. Oh, and if you go...stay until all the credits are over so you can see Sam Jackson's cameo as Nick Fury (only comic book geeks will truly understand this last scene...but basically it hints that we're going to get an Avengers movie. Nice).

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hey Guess what?

I quit.

I'm sitting here at work...YES, I KNOW IT'S MY DAY OFF (don't ask). Anyway, don't ask me how or why (okay, ask!!! ask!!!)but for some reason I found the courage to do the wrong/dumb thing.

I told me boss that May 16 would be my last day. Thus giving me two weeks to secure employment (or be forced to work for my father in-law). If by this time next week, I still haven't found anything...I'm going to do the one thing I really don't want to do--and that's get another security job. But hopefully it won't come to that.

Why did I quit? Well yesterday I found out that I'm not really going to be working very much this month. They weren't going to tell me until the last minute, but I found out anyway and confronted my boss about it. I was like, "Can you tell me when I work this month?" So he printed me off a sheet--it was pathetic. I had an entire WEEK OFF (middle of the month). All of this because of the graduation ceremonies that effectively close the gym. They don't need me for those, because they hire UMSL police to work security for those events. I knew UMSL had their ceremonies here, what I didn't know was that nearly every local High School rents this place out, too.

So that, combined with the new "Summer-Let's-Fuck-Jason-Over Schedule" left me with little choice but to seek other employment. I thought, "If this month is going to be tight anyway, why not just go do something else?" The decision was basically made for me.

Anyway, I just got done applying for a bunch of jobs. I doubt anything will come of it...but I sure am hoping.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

New ROCK BAND Avatar

Hey Amber, check out my new XTC t-shirt!

Also, I found an old Polaroid at work a few nights ago...still worked:

"Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast"

Runnin' Wild

Do ya like AC/DC? Wish they were still making music?

Then you're going to dig Airbourne. Part of me wants to dismiss Airbourne as a rip-off band, but I think that would be a mistake. How did you feel about The Darkness? Because it's a bit of the same situation...

Look, if someone put a gun to my head and said: "Write a that sounds like AC/DC (or Queen in the case of The Darkness)" I'd have a pretty hard time doing that--let alone have it sound fresh. The people that can do that shouldn't have to face the question: "is this original enough?" Screw it, it's just rock'n roll.

Airbourne--a band (from Australia) is really good at channeling the spirit/energy of AC/DC, while at the same time making something new. This is one of those bands that I heard about via Michael Butler's podcast (The Rock and Roll Geek Show), once again Mike has turned me onto something cool.

"Stand Up For Rock and Roll" and "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" are two of the best Rock (not Pop-Rock) songs I've heard in years. There's an energy, a hunger if you will--that the band is able to project. Much of the record's "classic rock" posturing doesn't come off as forced (or fake) like it does when many bands try this sort of "homage" (I'm looking at you JET). As good as the record is, I have a feeling this band is twice as good live.

I wish I could say more, but with a band this straight-forward, there isn't much you NEED to say. Check 'em out--they're balls-to-the-walls fun.

Jason gives RUNNIN' WILD an "A-"

FREE Comic Book Day!

Hey everyone, this Saturday is FREE Comic Book Day!!!

On this day, your local (participating) comic book shop distributes all sorts of freebies designed to entice you to read more comics. Me and Leah are going to our shop, StarClipper, on Saturday. Maybe you should hop online and see where the nearest local (participating) comic shop is!

Suggestions? I'm Taking Them!

Here's where I stand:

I have a job, but it sucks. Now that it's May, I'm going to lose a bunch of hours (Summer hours + Graduations (I don't work the ceremonies)=I'll have loads of free time). I have been applying to a steady trickle of jobs. Some good, most bad. A few have been part-time/crappy jobs that High School kids might try to get (the theory being, if you can't get one good job...then get two or three!). So far--nothing.

Now, last week was bad because I was so busy dealing with our gas leak. So not much was done in the way of applications.

I've just finished filling out a few applications, but I don't have very high hopes. I'm thought about the "staffing" company route, but I'd like to hold that off as a last resort (because when that fails I am going to freak out). Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

I'm pretty close to faking my own death and fleeing the country.