Monday, February 9, 2009

Slipknot

I decided to drive to Greensboro tonight to see Slipknot, a band I worked for back in 2001. They were the first band I worked for as a Tour Accountant. I had just quit being a Tour Manager and was trying to decide if I would continue my road career. I was pretty stressed out and ready to kill me some rock star assholes, so it was either quit the road or find something else to do. Their TM at the time was a buddy of mine and he offered me the accounting slot. I took it and never looked back.

It was like my eyes were opened for the very first time. Suddenly, it was fun to be on the road. As a TM, I'd never really had days off – there's always something you need to be doing. Most TM's will tell you, there are show days and non-show days, but no days off. But as a TA, I could do what I wanted on days off. Trust me, that changed everything. Sure, the job didn't pay as well, but the stress just disappeared.

Now, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world and I love my job. A wise man once said, "Find a job that you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

Anyway, a bunch of my roadie buddies are on the crew – Sol, Martin, Ernie, Gary, Shirt, Drew, and Gio – so at the very least, I needed to go hang out and say hello.

My friend Paige likes heavy music, so she humored me and went along. Heavy is one thing, but Slipknot sounds like a bunch of jackhammers and chainsaws. Not sure exactly how much she might have enjoyed it.

After an hour or so of socializing with my friends backstage (thanks for the beers, Sol), we watched their set from the soundboard area out front. Only stayed for about 30-35 minutes of the 'Knot before heading up the road, home to Raleigh.





Saturday, February 7, 2009

The 2009 Krispy Kreme Challenge

It's that time of year again. Today was the 5th annual Krispy Kreme Challenge, a student-operated race here in Raleigh benefiting the NC Children's Hospital. First run a few years ago with a mere 10 participants, it has grown exponentially to a whopping 5,038 runners in this year's race.

Beginning at the NCSU Bell Tower, each runner runs 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme store located on Peace St. in Raleigh. After downing a full dozen of the famous Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, the runner must run the two miles back. All in one hour. And without throwing up, which will disqualify you.

Nutritionally speaking, those 12 doughnuts total 2,400 calories and 144 grams of fat. That shit would make me sick even without the run.

I sent out an email a few days ago to more than 20 of my friends, but the only person brave enough (crazy enough?) to join me was my old buddy David Johnston, who was also my roommate back in the very early 90's.

We met up about 2 blocks from Krispy Kreme and walked over, arriving a few minutes after 9am. Mostly just volunteers and a couple dozen spectators were there at the time. We stepped inside for a doughnut breakfast and started killing time while waiting for the runners to arrive.

I was intrigued by this family and their sign. Is it in support of Elvis, or does it mean death to Elvis, or Elvis is toxic, or are they (as David suggested) a group of Elvis Pirates? Arrrrrr…

Scattered all over the parking lot were many tables of doughnuts, manned by volunteers:


Also, multiple water stations:

The race started at 9:30, so the first runners started arriving just shy of 9:45:


Grab yer 'nuts, fellers:


Time to choke 'em down:

Looks like a stomachache:

After a few minutes, the parking lot was full:

Lots of runners, lots of techniques. Some people ate their goodies delicately, followed by sips of water; others were dunking them one at a time into their cups of water. Quite a few took 3 to 6 doughnuts at a time and smashed them down into a doughnut pancakes. We saw one guy pour 3 cups of water into his box of doughnuts, and then smash 'em and eat 'em in handfuls. Another guy stacked his on the surface of the parking lot to smash them. I wonder if he picked up any gravel bits and broke a tooth or anything…

This girl had a double handful: video

This guy didn't seem to be feeling too well. video

One runner puked all over a piece of plastic, then kinda bagged it up as a souvenir:

Caught this guy in the act: video

The odor of bile wafted over parts of the parking lot. Not surprising.

After about an hour of the festivities there, we bolted for the Bell Tower to catch some of the finishers. There was a faint odor of bile hanging in the air there, too.

Talked to his guy briefly after the race. He was running for the third year in a row in a full gorilla costume. Nuts:

The NCSU Bell Tower is directly across the street from Sadlack's, a slacker dive bar, so we hit the patio there and had a few beers while waiting for the finish announcements to be made over the PA in the finish area. The winner had finished the race in less than 30 minutes, including the four-mile run and the time spent choking down the doughnuts. Pretty impressive.

After the crowd disbursed, I drove David back to his car downtown, then I headed home to watch a couple of basketball games. I was gonna take a bike ride today, but not with a buzz, no thanks.

The 2009 NASCAR racing series started tonight with the Bud Shootout from Daytona, a 75-lap non-points event. Unlike the regular races during the season, this one's an All-Star event. Twenty-eight drivers in the field, and Kevin Harvick won it by passing some steering wheel holder on the last lap. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. got caught up in a wreck and didn't finish the race. Bummer!

Around 10:30, I headed out to go see my buddy Bert's band, who were playing downtown at Deep South. Got there just before they went on, only to find out that Barry, the singer, had completely lost his voice. They tried to play, he tried to sing, but they packed it in after two songs. After they loaded out, Bert came back in and hung out for a couple of drinks. Next thing I knew, it was 2am and time to go home…

Friday, February 6, 2009

Warming Up

We've had some pretty cold weather (for Raleigh) this week. So naturally, this is the week I broke out the bike and started riding. Not much will wake you up as effectively as riding a bicycle 18 or 20mph in 35-degree weather with winds gusting to 25mph.

I got in 65 miles over 4 days this week, pretty light by last summer's standards, but a good way to start up the season. Bike riding has kinda taken the place of running while I'm waiting for my hamstring to start behaving again.

It's supposed to be warming up around here for the next week or so, starting this weekend with highs in the upper 60's or low 70's. Now THAT will be some great biking weather.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl, Schmuper Bowl

I had to stop running for a few days after Tuesday. I still walked about 4 miles each morning, hoping the walks would help ease the hamstring problem. But I can tell it's still too tight to try to run on.

Watching the Duke game this afternoon got boring pretty fast. They were kicking the shit out of Virginia, up by 25, when I finally turned it off.

I stepped outside and it was such a pretty day that I decided to break out the bicycle. Didn't really have a plan, just wanted a little fresh air. Wound up riding about 21 miles. Bet my ass is gonna be sore tomorrow.

Watched the Super Bowl, but didn't really care about it. My team was pretty good all year, but were "one and done" in the playoffs, getting bounced out. Even the commercials weren't very good this year. Or was it me?