David was our kindergarten troublemaker, and often disrupted our nap time. Lessons about the ABCs interwove with our teacher’s, Mrs. Simon’s, admonishments of David. Inevitably, the more paste and construction paper our projects involved, the more Mrs. Simon seemed to yell at him.
A negative attitude toward David emerged among my classmates. He had apparently been following each of them into the coat closet, pulling them close, and whispering profanity in their ears. I heard various accounts of this misdeed. “David is weird and says bad words.” “David just cursed in my ear.” “Eew.”
So not only did he possess persistent mucus stalactites hanging from each nostril and talk like Elmer Fudd, but he also cast a blight upon the sanctity of the coat closet? Retrieving my personal outerwear now involved assuming the risk of boogers and verbal assault from the class monster? I resolved to avoid him.
This episode kicks off a liner notes series for my 2011 album Deader Than Me. My former studio was in tip-top shape, and this resulting album is an excellent representation of my art’s character.
Perched on the uncomfortable stool at the corner pub, with several IPAs in my belly, I broke from tradition and ordered a grilled cheese. I had passed up many of their creative (and, at times, difficult to pronounce) weekly gourmet recipes. But “fresh” Vermont White Ceddar and mushroom on sour dough was irresistible to my beer-addled hypothalamus.
It was delicious; and, on an admittedly rare occasion during which I was strategizing about work (specifically, how to remind coworkers of my existence after my recent move to the isolated second floor), I ordered six more that I would share with my fellow employees the next day.
After some haggling (and mild discouragement via my wife), a logistical discussion ensued. The chef could not fathom my serving his creation after it sat in the refrigerator over night. And so, I agreed that he would partially cook the sandwiches, and I would prepare them in a toaster oven the next day (per his instructions), with a delicately generous discount.
After waking up too early, I remembered: My office has no toaster oven.
A few days ago, my wife found a bed bug. This threw her into a panic. Me too. The only bed bug stories are horror stories.
We made an appointment with a bed bug specialist for the next day. We had to bag all of our clothing and linens to throw them in high heat dryers for an hour. We had to lock our cats in the basement so the guy could give our house the old poison vapor treatment. And, we planned to bring my daughter’s hamster for safe keeping to my father-in-law’s place.
The next day, as we prepared, we discovered the hamster cage was empty! My daughter had gone on vacation with her friends, and left one of the blue plastic plugs off the cage. I spoke to her to set the morbid expectation: She would not be seeing her rodent companion when she returned that night.
It was noon, and we had three hours to find the hamster to ensure it would not be exterminated. Unfortunately, hamsters are nocturnal and really good at hiding. Wherever that little guy was, he was not in any drawer, box, closet, cupboard, bag. His ability to obscure himself and penchant for daytime sleeping would be his demise.
In this episode of Rodcast—the final in the liner notes series for my 2015 album Badass Plaid—I get all philosophical and stuff.
I recently came into possession of an Alesis HR16 drum machine. By all measures, almost nobody cared about that model. “Mr. Wendal” features it, and possibly some other songs.
It is a glorious button-laden gray box, with a flip top that actually houses, in microscopic print, the entire user manual. My mission was to simply acquire a power adapter and figure out how to make a beat.
As soon as I patched MIDI into it, I was in a world of 80s bliss. Needless to say, there has been some mission scope creep. Continue reading
This episode features my first guest, my mom. This features three songs that she requested, filtered through my musical idiosyncrasies (including a duet with her on the song, “Please Don’t Bury Me,” by John Prine).