Monday, January 4, 2016

The Dead Weather - "I Can't Hear You" (2010)

"Gossip Girl" didn't bring me here.

Russ Ballard - "I Can't Hear You No More" (1984)

 A favorite from one of Don Johnson's mixed tapes.

Hear And Now

When my brother Mike and I were on the Applebee's extended jaunt earlier this year, we would often stop into the Main Street eatery for heated trivia competitions, lively conversations with engaging barkeeps, sports coverage on multiple TV screens and half-priced appetizers. One particular date on our May schedule concerned the 2015 NFL Draft. As we piloted Mike's 1997 Honda Civic tour vehicle towards the Suffolk-based venue, a drummer friend contacted me on a recently acquired cellphone in hopes of sharing the stage with us. We agreed to meet Hoyt at the nearby Starbucks for a pre-gig jolt of iced coffee. Minutes after ending the brief call, my left ear became painfully clogged. This uncomfortable situation had been the result of foolishly jamming an index finger deeply into the already-obstructed canal. Upon exiting the Civic, both my hearing and equilibrium were seriously affected to the point of considering a double-back to Sentara Obici Hospital. Strangely, I still wanted to partner with Mike and Hoyt for trivia night and see early stages of the draft's first round. After several steps in the parking lot, however, any chance of another $25 gift-card trophy was suddenly squashed. Apologizing to Hoyt for stunting his beat, I proceeded to strike the snare for an answer to my real-life quandary.

Rather than needlessly spending hundreds of dollars on a medical bill, Mike suggested that I purchase a Walgreens Ear Wax Removal Kit for $6.99 plus tax. He had suffered from the same buildup several years ago and had used the treatment to swiftly eradicate the irritation. Since repeated yawning and excessive pounding on my right temple failed to remove any gunk, I grabbed the green box and proceeded to the cash register. As I swiped the debit card through the machine, doubts of the product's effectiveness began occupying my thoughts. Was my problem more severe than simple congestion? Did the makeshift Q-tip instantly trigger permanent loss? Would I have to undergo surgery from the professionals at Obici? Why wasn't I able to get free coffee refills in the café of said hospital? "Do you have a Rewards Card?" posed the pale redhead behind the counter. "Yes, I am a member, but I don't have physical representation of it," was my slightly haughty retort. Entering ten digits into the keypad revealed a code for an ineligible discount. "Be well," wished the drugstore darling with an Equal packet-like earnestness. Bag in hand, I prepped myself for a home-based procedure that would commence around the same time as Tampa Bay's choice of their franchise quarterback.

Under center, Mike directed me to sit down on a shoddy chair and tilt my head sideways. Gently squeezing the bottle, he placed roughly ten drops of liquid into the damaged ear. Per directions on the box, cotton was listed as an alternative to keep peroxide from seeping out of the canal. I readily nixed that idea and kept my noggin in the awkward position. As I barely heard Roger Goodell mention Jameis Winston's name at the lectern, the "It gets worse before it gets better" rub became fully realized. "THANK YOU, MIKE, FOR DUMPING THE ENTIRE NANSEMOND RIVER INTO MY LEFT EAR!!!" was what I screamed while silently playing the role of an agreeable patient. Sure, I had experienced water-related issues brought upon by showering and swimming in the past, but having an ear purposely irrigated was a different deal altogether. Once the tidal movement ceased, I was led to a bathroom sink where Mike filled the provided washer bulb with warm H2O. Flushing out the waxy contents sparked a magic "POP!" My hearing was completely restored, and I couldn't thank Mike enough for his skillful syringing. The celebration was curbed, though, when he recommended that I treat my right ear with the kit. Grudgingly, I gave Mike the go-ahead to start another round of therapy. There was less of a wall to shatter this time, so the canal accepted more peroxide into its depths. Any future benefits of preventive maintenance were temporarily nullified by my current squeamishness. Post-extraction, however, I felt more refreshed than a wireless mouse perpetually clicking on the appropriate icon. Walgreens Ear Wax Removal Kit is suitable software for an auditory reboot.

It's December 28, 2015, and an index finger is retrieving wax from my left ear. You can scold me for doing so, but I've heard it all before.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Airport '75 - "Ceiling Mirrors" (2015)

ORF, man!

Fujiwara - "Gimme A Shot" (2015)

Fire away!

The Thirty-Sixth Step

Just when you thought it was safe to climb a higher floor, here's another "Step" article from an increasingly occasional blogger...

For having a pair of maroon Puma Romas in the correct size priced at $29.99 plus tax, DTLR at Chesapeake Square Mall continues to be my favorite shoe store. Both cups of the three-hour-old, hazelnut-flavored coffee at Panera Bread last night put me in a surprisingly good mood. If you'd like to hear perhaps the best Adolescents- esque punk blast released in 2015, load Fujiwara's "Gimme A Shot" into your chamber. A possible birthday present for my brother Mike might be a T-shirt from the Virginia Lottery. One highlight from my recent visit to a barn in Pungo was the consumption of several lumpia rolls made by Glory's Bakery. I view most memes submitted to Facebook as a reactionary attempt to justify insecurities of the poster in question. If you will excuse me for a second, it is time to save this lukewarm draft beer of a story. During the restroom break, I came up with an idea for a Starbucks-brand toilet-bowl cleaner. Shortly before the band Ride pumps their brakes somewhere in the Greater Cincinnati area, a clever sort of lady or gent should make a "NEED A RIDE TO RIDE!" plea on Craigslist. A magazine called "Southern Grit" ought to contain at least a few examples of local, messy-haired teenagers with large Iron Maiden and Metallica patches on the backs of their worn denim jackets. The potential "Amos For Prez" shirt cited in the last update will now be amended to read "Amos For President In 2016." Because Mike's French fries cast an unwelcome line of a fishy aftertaste, we have put The Plaid Turnip on indefinite probation. "So, is this a thing now?" and "This is why we can't have nice things" need to become things of the past. The garage-grunge shine on "Ceiling Mirrors" by Airport '75 just might turn vocalist/guitarist Paul Unger into Tidewater's most unlikely "alt-rock" god. I support straight divorce. Our local paper, who had earlier extended the heave-ho to an inimitable Mal Vincent, ran a half-star review of "Vacation" from another publication in its supplemental section. Due to hiccups with this $99 tablet from Office Max, I almost lost the last few sentences of my questionably pointless scribbling. Steve Harvey is the best host of "Family Feud" since the O.G. (Richard Dawson, for those born in the 2000s) himself. One answer on the board: Name something that erupts. I hereby retract the negative statement made about Cook Out earlier this year, for that was based on a single onion ring eaten in a car at the cramped restaurant in Norfolk. Some girls are bigger than Struthers. Galaxie 500's On Fire was the first album played on my television after inserting a Roku stick into the Vizio's HDMI port. Arachnophobia has prevented me from looking into "The Deep Web." I just threw a 30-year-old dictionary in the garbage, because it no longer meant anything to me. The only Orioles game I've seen this year in its entirety was when they played inside of an empty Camden Yards. Words With Friends is SCRABBLE with dyslexia. I sneezed and missed Ronda Rousey's last fight against a Brazilian nut whose name I won't attempt to spell. BA-BA-BA, BA-BAR-BARA CIARA!!! Everybody in the whole cellblock were dancing to the Western Tidewater Regional Jailhouse Rock! No matter what, this ends before 5 a.m. Someone is in the kitchen, for I smell toasted English muffins. The "Short Circuit"- meets-"Robocop" failed experiment known as "Chappie" was a pretty crappy movie, but most of the stench can be blamed on human actors. "Butthurt" is a term that needs its ass wiped with a 200-ply roll of Charmin. "Best of all, you could win a shipload of money!" probably wasn't immediately cleared by the censors. The antics of YouTube sensation Angry Grandpa are every bit as staged as those from Vince McMahon's charges in the WWE. "Hulk Hogan Never Happened" written in red letters on a yellow shirt (or vice versa) could be a future possibility at the nearby sporting goods store. The Dictators and Billy Joel have terrific tunes about sleeping with the television on.

Wow, Chris Davis hit a walk-off grand slam yesterday! Thank you, ESPN, for the report. It's time for me to doze off. 5:03 on the nose! Good night and good morning!