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2:00 p.m. - January 31, 2006
Changing Yer Mind
I am a man of strong opinions.

But I am also allowed to change my mind. It’s my prerogative, Whitney.

On some issues, like the environment, civil rights, social justice, racism, tax cuts for the middle class instead of the rich, militarism, etc. I probably will never change my mind. I believe in my views strongly. I can’t read Forbes magazine without wishing that Steve Forbes would just move to BFE Indiana and live here, on my sister’s salary at the library, and see how he likes it.

Those make for some interesting discussions with my friend the QB, who probably holds the opposite political view on almost any issue. We’re from similar backgrounds (BFE Indiana) and have a similar education, but it’s just funny how you can’t stereotype anyone based on where they live and who they associate with.

On other things, I have changed my mind (or altered my previously held opinion) whether it’s due to gaining wisdom due to age (snerk – wisdom he says) or by having epiphanies, or just by living life.

Way back when, I was adamant about having a wife that worked. It was funny, I said that a woman should choose to work, and not be shackled to home, but I was also not flexible enough to see that choosing not to work is a choice as well – as long as it wasn’t mandated by society, or the husband, or whatever.

(Because if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice, right Geddy?)

Now, I definitely see the wisdom of having one parent stay at home with the kids, if it’s possible. And while the second income would definitely be nice, it’s not like we eat rocks and gravel, nor are we shirking our retirement savings or the kids’ college funds.

I used to not eat Chinese food, at all. I never wanted to try it, either. It was full of mysterious ingredients and weird sauces and combinations of food.

But, I was taken to a Chinese buffet about 10 years ago by some co-workers and I fell in love with some of the dishes. Now, I’m not a huge Chinese fan, but give me a plate of General Tso’s with some rice and egg drop soup and I’m a happy boy. (Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba).

In fact, I lament that there’s no Indian restaurant close by, and I never got to take Liz to the Indian buffet near my old office for lunch. Fifteen years ago, those who knew me would bet $1000 that I’d never try Indian food, nor like it. But even with the radioactive looking sauces, the spices on the lamb and chicken, and that flat bread-like stuff (what is it called?) are so yummy.

Back in the day, I used to be a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons. I loved their helmet design, and liked rooting for an underdog. Steve Bartkowski was my man at QB, throwing the ball to Alfred Jackson, Alfred Jenkins and Junior Miller and the Grits Blitz in 1977 and 1978 was a tough as nails defense. They had some great names at back in Bubba Bean and Haskel Stanback, and then they got studs like William Andrews and Lynn Cain.

Even when they hired the anti-Christ (Glanville) as coach, I stuck with them. That’s when they changed their helmets from red to black, and with the old Falcons logo it was so cool. I even forced myself to root for them when Jeffy Boy George and his two cent head was their QB.

Sure, it’s odd to like a team because of their logo, but when I was growing up, there was no NFL here in the Heartland, and since I was already an iconoclastic sort, I decided not to root for the Cowboys, Steelers, Raiders or Vikings, since they won so much. I put my support behind a team that needed it.

Besides that, the Colts, when they got here, were awful. They were playing football most foul, and while it was fun to go to a few games a year, it was just nasty to watch. To see Jack Trudeau, Chris Chandler, and Gary Hogeboom at QB run for their lives was just brutal.

So Atlanta was #1 and the Colts were #2. Even in 1995, when the Colts almost went to the Super Bowl, I would have to put them second to Atlanta in my rooting scale.

Then, the Falcons changed their logo, and the Colts became very entertaining to watch. Even though Atlanta has Michael Vick and a great guy in Warrick Dunn, I’ve scratched them off my list due to the logo change, and now the Colts are definitely #1.

Tastes in other things evolve over time. Things that I thought were hilarious back in the day I see now as puerile. Music I loved I now find meh, and vice versa.

I used to be all in for Primus, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dinosaur, Jr. Now, a decade after the fact, I’m not all giddy about their old stuff anymore.

I used to hate country music, but when I got the Byrds box set, when they went country I was intrigued. At that same time I also discovered Dwight Yoakam. Now, I enjoy ‘REAL’ country music. Not the glossy crap sung by hats, nor the vapid over-produced gunk sung with just a touch of a drawl, but honest country music, mostly real old stuff. I also enjoy a lot of ‘alt-country’. In fact, some could say that country music was the original punk rock, with songs about alienation, fear and loathing, and how the working man was always put down.

What inspired these thoughts was, of all things, a song from 1994. I have been TiVoing old Saturday Night Live episodes, and the Cranberries were the musical guests.

On one show, they did “Zombie”. Later, I saw the video for that song on VH-1 Classic.

Around 1992 or so, one of the stations in Indianapolis changed formats to “Modern Rock”, which at that time meant alternative. They were playing stuff that none of the other stations would touch, and I was hopeful that this format would allow some artists on the radio that were ‘hands off’.

However, soon that format became rigid, and any adventure was removed. Instead of the airwaves filled with Mudhoney or Tad, vapid, inept copycat bands like Sponge and Candlebox were shoved down one’s throat. (Man, they stunk – those guys made Journey sound like musical savants. It’s one thing to be lame, but it’s another thing to be a lame copycat.)

But I listened anyway, in the office, because, well, there’s only so much Bob Seger you can listen to in a lifetime, and living in BFE land I have had my share.

I remember that “Zombie” was played a lot on that station, and by a lot, I mean every two hours or so. It was enough to make me just turn the radio off when that song came on the airwaves.

However, it had been a while since I heard it, and when I saw the performance on SNL, I was moved. It was a powerful rendition, and then I saw the video and I was equally mesmerized.

(I also just love the Irish brogue evident in Dolores O’Riordan. Yowza!)

So, after rather much loathing the song, 11 ˝ years later I now have it in my iPod.

I guess there is a lesson here – perhaps – or maybe my ears were tin back in the day.

But no matter what, there is NOTHING in this world that will make me enjoy listening to Creed. Not even a skidillion dollars and the promise of everlasting fame and power. I do have some standards!


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