Good evening from the Frozen North,
While Red Sox Pitchers and Catchers start to work on their Baseball Tans in Florida here I sit in the frozen north wondering if Spring will ever get here. I know it's only February, and I know this is New England, but it's pretty much been snowing and blowing for about four straight days and enough is enough. The snow they are now predicting for tomorrow, Happy Valentine's Day, is not supposed to amount to any significant accumulation, which is a relief since I have nowhere left to put it.
Tomorrow night we will be back at the Hearing Room in Lowell Massachusetts hosting their weekly Open Mic Night. Music starts at seven, so if you are experiencing cabin fever stop on by and hear some great performers. The Hearing Room is a non-profit BYO Beverage venue located at 119 Chelmsford St in Lowell, just minutes from the Gallagher Terminal. Suggested donation is just $5 so come and support local musicians, comics, poets and the like as they take the stage and bravely put it all out there. And since it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, why not bring along your significant better half and croon a love song or two?
I am happy to report that my damaged digit is finally on the mend. It still looks pretty grotesque and I can certainly tell it's still there, but I am hoping I'll be able to play tomorrow night without too much difficulty. My playing will be limited however, so I would encourage and APPRECIATE any and all musicians in the area familiar with the Hearing Room to come by tomorrow night and pick up my slack. Unlike most open mic nights in the area we offer longer time slots on stage so the bottom line is you get to play more than you would at most open mic nights , and most evenings end up with some type of all in jam. A full back line is provided and we even have a full drum kit so come play with us and help support a great venue.
Lastly, next week we will be doing some long overdo updates to the website at HughMcQueen.com. We have some new photos, videos and a couple of new songs to get posted so be sure check in with us next week.
It's 3:00 A.M.
I am waiting for the snow to start but it's still hours away. Tonight's insomnia is not brought on by the usual busy brain, nor by excessive amounts of caffeine, but instead by a throbbing ache in my right thumb that will just not quit.
It guess it could be worse. I was wearing leather gloves when the stupidity occurred. They cushioned the blow, and judging by the look and feel of the thumb, they are the primary reason that my damaged digit is still attached.
I don't think I will be playing much guitar for the next few days, at least until the swelling goes down and the soreness subsides a bit. I feel pretty stupid about doing this, but like they say, "no good deed goes unpunished".
So at about six o'clock tonight my phone rang, It was my ex wife's daughter ,and she called me because her van had broken down. She informed me she had been driving to dinner with her young son in the car when her steering suddenly stopped working. Additionally, now that she had managed to pull to the side of the road, the van would no longer start. AAA told her they could be there by about 9:00 p.m, give or take three hours so there she sat, parked by the side of the road, in the dark, temperatures approaching freezing in a van that would not start,surrounded by nothing but cemeteries as far as the eye could see.
I told them to sit tight and headed out in my truck to pick them up. After all, it's not like I was going to let them sit there for three hours in a cold broken down van and wait for the AAA guy. I mean I may be a grumpy old bastard by I am not without a heart. Incidentally, I am not mechanic, and I do not even play one on television, so you may be wondering at this point why she chose to call me.
I don't know, and neither does my thumb.
So I drove over to where I suspected they were, since she was not sure what the street name was that they were on, and sure enough there they were. Now the fun starts.
Not to self; always make sure all digits are safely outside of the door frame before the vehicle door is slammed closed.
I told them to get into my truck, curb side and that I would bring them to pick up their dinner and give them a ride home, explaining that if she was having the van towed she just needed to leave the keys and did not have to be there. Realizing the passenger's side door of my truck was locked I reopened my driver's side door to unlock it just as a gust of wind caught the door and slammed it shut.....while my thumb was still in it.
The amazing part is that I did not swear, curse, or use profanity when it happened. Maybe it was because there was a child present, or possibly I might have been in shock from the instant rush of pain. It actually hurts more now than when it happened. Usually when things like that happen to me I curse like a longshoreman possessed by a truck driver with Tourettes.
My thumbnail, now blood filled and discolored to a lovely shade somewhere between a dark bluish green and purple is amazingly still intact. My actual thumb itself has swollen to the point that it appears cartoonish, about two times the size of it's brother thumb that's attached to my left hand. Lucky for me, the bag of frozen mixed vegetables seems to be helping a bit, or maybe it's just making my damaged thumb forget the pain of being caught in the door of my truck about nine hours ago. so it can focus on becoming painfully cramped from being numbed by the cold. Either way, it's time for a couple of more Tylenol.
Oh, did I forget to mention, just as they were getting in my truck to go get something to eat,my ex wive's first ex husband just happened to be driving by and stopped when he saw her van, so I was dismissed to head back home and assess the damage to my thumb. Like I said, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished".
Good afternoon from the basement studios of the HughMcQueenMusicProject,
Here we are on the first Sunday of February and all of New England is anxiously waiting for the start of Super Bowl Fifty One. (That's LI for all of you Roman Numeral Fans). Even Pope Francis posted an on line message this morning about how the Super Bowl is a vehicle for "peace" and "togetherness", and although I can appreciate his sentiment I think he should have had his Papal staff (the people he employs, not the one he carries) do a little more research before he drew his analogy.
A couple of thoughts crossed my mind as I listened to the Pope speak, For starters, I bet the Pope is a fan of Roman Numerals since he lives in Vatican City which, after all, is in Rome.
That aside, I also recall hearing how Super Bowl Sundays generate a much higher than average rate of 911 calls and also one of the highest incidents of Domestic Violence of any day of the year. Whether due to the combination of the emotion build up for the "big game", larger than average gambling losses, the excessive consumption of alcohol, or the fact that some one's team has to lose, it is unfortunate that some people will just carry things a little too far. Domestic violence is never acceptable. So let me suggest that any hard core football fans that actually want to WATCH THE GAME avoid inviting anyone over to "watch" the game that could not care less about the actual game itself, If you are attending or hosting a Super Bowl Party might I suggest multiple viewing areas; one specific area dedicated to the hard core football people and a second area for the casual party goers that insist on talking through the entire game. This will help keep some of the peace that the Pope was speaking about in his Super Bowl address this morning.
I also suspect that Pope Francis doesn't listen to much sport's talk radio either, of he might not be so confident with his analogy regarding fans putting their own agendas aside in the spirit of brotherhood. There are an awful lot of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick haters out there. Outside of New England ,it appears that most of the country will be rooting for the Falcons, and I get that. Many people are just sick of the Patriot's winning and wan't to see something different and let's be honest here; although the Atlanta Falcons are a good football team, they are not the same caliber as our Patriots. But some of these people speak of the Patriot Organization with such venom I have never heard anything quite like it..........except maybe how a lot of Red Sox Fans Speak of the Real Evil Empire of Professional Sports, The NEW YORK YANKEES.
Anyway, it's good to be back.
Enjoy the game, enjoy the commercials, and enjoy the Lady GaGa Halftime show. Most of all, I will thoroughly enjoy watching Commissioner Roger Goodell handing the trophy to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots................Our Prediction.............. Patriots 34 / Falcons 17..............
Our show schedule for February is exceptionally light. We will be hosting two open mic nights at the Hearing Room in Lowell on the 14th and on the 28th. If any additional dates are scheduled we will post it on Facebook and on the Upcoming Appearance Page on the Website at HughMcQueen.com, but we will be using the time off to continue working in studio on the new CD which we are hoping to have completed by May.