Friday Fives – basking in celebrity goodness edition

bono and i

What was your last interaction with a famous person?

Well, we have to mention my run in with Bono… even though it technically doesn’t count.  So, let’s start there.  I was in San Fran a fall or two ago for a very very big business conference (Dreamforce) and they had bought up the whole town.  Huey Lewis literally played right in the middle of the street they shut down.  Sean Penn was there to get into fights with hotel patrons, and they bought up the baseball stadium to have Green Day come and play for everyone for free.

As I was walking through one of the big conference thingies, I spotted Bono.  Not someone who looks like Bono, mind you, but motherfuckin Bono his goddamn self.  I love U2, and I love Bono.  Bono gets too much shit for being overexposed… and he IS… but he uses that literally to solve the world’s problems. I have seen them a lot, and I think they may be the best rock back in production right now. Not saying they are my favorite band, or that I saw them on their last tour.  BUT…if someone comes to America and wants to know what a big production of a great rock and roll band us… you give them U2.  Given that I was rubbin’ uglies with Huey Lewis, Billie Joe, and Sean Penn… it was not too much of a stretch to think I was within the same breathing air as his Bono-ness.

Shit, I already told this story, didn’t I?

Spoiler, it wasn’t Bono.  It was Pavel.  Pavel, btw, is a good dude.  I have corresponded with him.  I posted this anecdote on Facebook and my buddy Eddie had the greatest comment.  He said “you met the Pavel?  In person?  That is huge, and everyone knows ‘Bono’ is just a big Pavel impersonator!”

So… we can’t count that one, can we?  How about Dave Barry?  Up for a Dave Barry story?  We chatted about dogs, and he was thrilled I had not only a ‘regular dog’, but a ‘small emergency back up dog’ as well.  We were taking selfies and he looked at my blackberry (so yeah… that kinda dates me.  Maybe this was about ten years ago?) to see our pictures.  My wallpaper was my doggies, so we talked about that.  Am I boring you?  Why don’t you tell me your Dave Barry story?  Exactly.  I am CERTAINLY not telling you my Johnny Depp story.  Not with that attitude.  After I am done not telling you my Depp story, you will next NOT get to hear about hanging out with Ralph Steadman.

  • was that boring to you?  Did you want to tell your Dave Barry story?  How about your Johnny Depp story?  Do you have one?  Well, I do… and I ain’t sharing it now!

You know that girl in your elementary school class that was really obsessed with horses? What is she doing with her life now?

She married me, and we have horses.  It’s much less romantic than they showed in movies.  Our horses have saved exactly ZERO children almost swept away by ravaging flood waters.

What is the most pretentious hobby?

Playing guitar in a rock band?  Is that pretentious?  Or, maybe just sad and middle agey?  hmm. what else do I do?  Oooh, I like to collect aged books.  I would almost just a rather carefully thumb through a 125 year old first edition hard back than look at boobs.  ALMOST.

One day I will tell you the good story of the book I found at goodwill for a $1.  It was called ‘Presidents I Have Known’  How is that for pretentious?  Anyhow, I bought it because it was beautiful.  The book, I mean.  It was a well worn, a hard back, and  a first edition.  Plus, with a title that pompous… I simply had to have it.  This is book porn… especially for 25 cents!  THEN… I get it home and it is inscribed by some dude wishing some dude the best.  For shits and giggles (my fish) I googled the name.  The guy whom is it inscribed to was the wealthiest and most important guy in America at the time.  I wish I remember the name, but I don’t… and I ain’t at home.  And the guy who hand wrote the beautiful inscription was the author his damn self!

I guess you can scratch that ‘one day’ part above, since I mostly just told you that story.

Wait… are you asking my most pretentious hobby?  Or, just in general.  Guess what?  This questions is over now.  SHELVED for being unspecific.

… ok, I thought of something.  The most pretentious thing I can think of is being the prevost of a polo mallet museum.  Really, prevost of anything would do the trick.

What is your favorite debunked conspiracy

Hasn’t even conspiracy been debunked?  In fact, is that not the definition of ‘conspiracy’.  I would have to go with the moon landing.  People not only don’t believe we went there, but they are SUPER vested in their opinion.  At the end of the day, who cares?  Let’s say the govt did lie about the whole moon landing?  How EXACTLY does that impact your day to day life?  Even if the govt copped to it, and even apologized… would you get cheaper gas?  Or a month off rent?  Or a couple days off of work?  No.  So get over it.

I should note I can not write off all conspiracies as the work of loonies with too much spare time.  I am still actively wondering what the hell happened with the Kennedy assassination.  Like most Americans, I am settled about this much  – I am not sure what happened, but I am about 90% confident that the version they fed us as the truth is NOT what happened.  Even went to Dallas to see Dealey Plaza.  That was awesome, and you should go!

I guess what we can take away is if you believe in govt conspiracies you are a sad little man… UNLESS… you believe in the same ones I do.

What is your favorite random Wikipedia article?

Well, if it were my favorite, wouldn’t it not be random? This feels like entrapment.  This question is SHELVED for editorial negotiation!


Friday Fives – fate and deities and ghosts and Bono and all that – edition

Do you believe in luck, fate or a higher being?

Yes, yes, and no.  That may be wishy washy, and contradictory.  It’s like how I feel about ghosts.  I don’t necessarily believe in them, but I positively don’t NOT believe in them.  Did that make sense?  If I had to choose, I would err on the side that there are ghosts.  Here is my logic; Einstein said energy can be neither created not destroyed.  The human body is ALL electrical.  Everything that happens to keep you alive is electricity based.  The matrix had an insightful twist on it, that we are just batteries.  There is some truth to that.

Plus, full disclosure, I have had some mild ghost experiences in the past.  Why are we talking about ghosts?  That wasn’t the question at all.

As for a higher being, I am an atheist.  NOT an agnostic.  I know there are a million arguments how there could be no atheists.  I do not believe in a magical, cogent higher power.  Here is the thing, though.  I wish I did.  I would love to believe in heaven.

My buddy Mike made an incredibly insightful point about atheists in a Facebook discussion a few years ago. It sounds flippant at first.  He said “for you to say there is no god acknowledges a god.”  Get it?  He is saying that for me to say “there is no god” means I am at least acknowledging the concept of god.  It’s truly thoughtful, and to that I say this.  I understand your concept of god very well.  So, I am speaking to that.

You may say “how could you look at a puppy or the grand canyon and not see a higher power?”  Easy, I see science and evolution.  It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I appreciate it more than you.  You just think this is god’a magic paintbrush, whereas I see thousands of years of all these things happening to create this perfect moment.

Are you in control of your own destiny or someone else pulling the strings of your life?

Geesh, we are getting heavy today.  I have a dog dying on me this very minute and you are getting all philosophical on me.  I do believe I am in control of my own destiny.  I also acknowledge that outside things beyond my control impact that.  I believe it is called the ‘Butterfly effect’.  That how a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the Earth could impact me.  I could go much more into my thoughts on that if you would like, but I feel you understand me.  Oh.. it is also called ‘Indra’s Net’ by Hindu’s.  That concept is like a spider web that shows anything touched anywhere impacts everything else.  See the pic above. That is maybe why I am so fascinated by Mandalas.  They are my connection to myself, and everything else out there.

What are your lucky charms if you own any?

I have this necklace I am wearing that I call my lucky necklace.  However, that is absurd.  I don’t feel bad or good things have happened as a result of my possessing it.  However, I still make sure I have it every day when I leave the house.  It is a rune of my birthday month from the Mayan calendar… or some such nonsense.  It is my physical connection to Mexico, which is my spiritual happy place

Is the world really just a stage and are we merely actors on that stage?

No.  What kind of stupid shit is that?  That is some twilight zone thinking.  I get that we are small on scale, and our lives will be ultimately insignificant… but I don’t believe there is some grand puppet master directing things – be it god, or society, or the Pentaverette.

Describe what happened on your “luckiest” day (positive or negative).

Just two days ago I had a seriously amazing and epic day.  I was in San Francisco, which made it awesome to start out.  San Fran is such a cool city.  One of the great cities of the world.  I was at a business conference with my wife, and they had the street shut down for performances.  Huey Lewis was playing all his hits right there in front of me.  That awesome twist is that everyone he was supposed to be playing for was in business conferences.  So, it was just me and a couple hundred other people.  I took this pic with my phone.  Shows you how close I was.


So, that was pretty great.  Always appreciated Huey.  He makes great music and always seemed like a decent and regular guy.  Plus, his 80’s album ‘Sports’ still holds the record for most number 1 singles on an album.  Wrap your head around that.  Most #1 singles from a single studio album isn’t Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.

So, after seeing Huey (and already feeling like I am having the best day ever) I run into Bono.  I am in a huge ass conference room the size of a football field with all these tech companies pimping their wares.  I enjoyed it.  I noticed a disproportionate amount of excitement out of the corner of my eye… so I investigate.  I pride myself on this kind of situational awareness.  It’s how I got bum rushed by Sen John Kerry and his goons once.  That is another story.

So, I see a few people gathering around and taking pictures of someone.  Who could it be?  Huey Lewis?  Sean Penn?  Billie Joe Armstrong?  They were all there for the conference.  It was Bono.  Thee Bono.  That Bono.  He wasn’t at a booth, or anything like that.  He was just walking around as a participate.  He has no crew, no entourage, and no body guards.  Just this lady.  I take a pic of him taking a pic with someone.  Then, he walks right by me.  Do I leave him alone?  I don’t want to be a stalker ahole, but when will I get this chance again?

bono and some lady

So, I tap him on the shoulder and ask if I can take a picture.  He smiles and TAKES my phone.  He takes two selfies of us together, one even at a cool and arty angle.  Those pics are below.  That is me***, with Bono.*

me and Bono 2013

So, I am walking on air.  Truly, this has been one of the great and fun days of all time…. And this was just two days ago.  That night, we have tickets to go see Green Day and Blondie for free.  That concert was so amazing I wrote about it here, on my music site**.  I also got free food all day from the conference.  Here is what made it bonus fun.  It wasn’t even my conference, it was the wifey’s.  I was just glomming on for the free hotel room in San Francisco.  But, I work for a major major tech company, so I was able to weasel a pass to all the events.

* turns out it probably wasn’t Bono.  Just some weirdo he cruises around and soaks up the adulation the world has for Bono.  Thing is, I am a big fan of U2.  Seen them four times.  I have also met a lot of rock stars.  There was no reason to believe this wasn’t Bono.  I mean, intuitively – yes.  Why the hell would Bono be cruising around a tech sales conference?  Why wouldn’t he have body guards?  I am telling, though, this guy looked 100% like Bono.  It was still a great day, but I am a little sad that maybe it wasn’t Bono after all.

** that piece isn’t up yet.  it is written, and I am editing it. I should have it up some time today.  update to the update – that piece is up now.

*** this is the first time in ten years, and over a thousand posts, that I have ever posted a picture of myself.  I am pretty cagey about that stuff.  You will also never find my real name anywhere on here.