I have six months to reshape my life. I can do this.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Robert Randolph and Family Band

Last night I went to yet another concert at George's (not the greatest venue). But the band more than made up for the crappy locale. I saw Robert Randolph with six friends. And NOBODY can groove like Jackson Cellers. That dude was killing me.

And Trey made some great friends too. RR&TFB were awesome. They threw down five or six cuts from their new disc COLORBLIND. It is powerful. So funky and so many grooves you will get lost in them. They played the standouts live (Homecoming, Jesus is Just Alright, Deliver Me, Ain't Nothing Wrong with That) as well as some great older cuts they do including their best song ever More Love. They also did some great covers that they blended seamlessly into original material. They also played some extended jams. It was just amazing. They may be the most talented band musically playing that funky gospel R&B. I first saw RR&TFB open for Clapton. Soon they are opening for Dave Matthews. That will be an amazing concert.

Also I lost another four pounds this week. I am now down 92 total. Hopefully in two weeks I can hit 100. Hard to think that I am almost there.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Concert Review: Big Smith at George's Majestic

It was brought to my attention by this smoking hot chick that I never posted about Big Smith, what may just be the concert event of the century. It also dawned on me that I am in line to see some good concerts in the next month or so. So I will give you a quick recap of what went down.

First of all the venue was at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayatteville, Arkansas. Basically a dive. They threw up some sort of temporary-tent-like-bubble-room and have made it the main concert venue in Arkansas for the up-and-coming and lesser-knowns out there. As a venue it absolutely sucks. But the fact that everyone plays at George's supercedes that fact. It is not as rich with history as Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa or even as nice as most smaller places and clubs in Dallas or OKC. But it is basically all we have. And we get good groups playing there right before or after their visit to Cain's or somewhere else in Tulsa. But Big Smith is sort of a regional fave.

They are in my top five faves. It goes Beatles, McCartney, Robert Randolph (who plays George's in a week!!!), Big Smith and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. Big Smith is sort of a hillbilly-bluegrass-western-roots-gospel-bar band who play some great songs that they wrote themselves but sound like old mountain songs from the Bull Creek region in Missouri. They are also aptly named as three of the five first cousins (two sets of brothers and another first cousin) wear big smith overalls. From the first strains of Go Away Maggie I knew that Big Smith was going to be great. And they were. They played all my fave Big Smith songs (Burn Down the House and Leave by the Light of the Fire, 12 Inch 3 Speed Oscillating Fan, Trash, Preacher, Die Dead Die, Poison, Backwater, Rich Man's Poor). But the best part is watching all the drunken partiers there dancing around.

Plus George's is a smallish venue and people get very touchy. They all move around the place, never content to stand sort of in the same spot. They gotta go get their drinks or what have you. Which means they touch you as they walk past. My pal Trey was quite uncomfortable with all of the touching. But if the casual "Excuse me" touch was bad for him, he was in for a treat.

In the close confines of the dance floor there at George's you get the chance to dance with many people, whether you want to or not. Trey and I were impressed at the number of decent looking women who seemed to be dancing in our personal space throughout the night. And then it happened.

This 45 year old-looking Italian dude (who spent most of his night trying to find SOME woman, ANY woman, to dance with him...more power to him) came dancing over. He had a very unique style: it was sort of the pelvic thrust coupled with a strange hiccuppy stagger. And he had this habit of looking behind him to make sure everyone saw how cool he was. Well, Rocky Baldetti shimmied his way over to Trey's close, extremely close, personal space and danced there for at least an entire song. To try my best to explain the scene, Rocky Baldetti was Candy the exotic pelvic-thrusty-dancer and Trey was the pole. It was so many things at the same time: disturbing, hysterical, memorable, vomit-inducing and creeepy. He would dance and bounce his body off of Trey's in a way that should only happen in Sodom or prison. And then he would look back to see if Trey or anyone was watching.

Eventually a decent-looking bird walked by and he staggered off after her. But not before I had to cover my face in my smoke-smelling sweatshirt to keep from crying at the laughter. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen.

Great concert. Interesting drunken Arkansans. And Rocky Baldetti. One great concert event.

I hope Trey got Rocky's number...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Popeye's Smothered Chicken or How I Hit My Third Goal Weight

To quote Hiro from Heroes, "I DID IT!!!" I have hit my third weight loss goal. I have dropped 88 pounds now and passed the third weight loss goal with a whole pound to spare. Now comes the heavy lifting and hard road toward losing another 35 and getting to the fourth weight loss goal. However, I at least get to celebrate with music while I exercise because the reward for the third weight loss goal was...an iPod! Craig = excited.

This week I really want to work hard. I have never really had a complete week in weight loss. Typically I sort of stray off the calorie counting on Wednesday and Thursday and even some on Friday only to have to REALLY tow the line Saturday through Tuesday. This week the only free meal I have scheduled in is supper on Sunday night at the Brau Haus, this great little German joint with incredible live jazz on Sunday night. If your travels ever have you in Hot Springs on Sunday evenings from 6-9, come hear a phenominal jazz guitarist at the Brau.

My prayers and thoughts are with Dave today as he really starts to knuckle down for a vacation to Disney. He needs to drop weight too and he has to get smaller so we can sit by each other at concerts without touching each other all the freakin time. And since McCartney will tour again later this year, Dave needs to drop. Plus the Police, Van Halen and even some rumored tourings of the Led.

In summation: I have lost 88 pounds and hit my first three weight loss goals. I am, dare I say it, en fuego.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

So Long Pal

Right now iTunes is downloading the two episodes of 24 that aired on Monday so I can watch them tonight. I do not have cable so I have to either get someone to tape tv shows for me, download them illegally for me, or buy the shows on disc after they air at least one season. But there is something about 24 that makes it very, very difficult to wait. I must see what happens with Jack and his dad. The Jack Bauer Power Hour is important.

Right now I am listening to Al Dexter and his Troopers singing "So long pal..." I dig me some old time western music. Al Dexter, Spade Cooley, Johnny Bond and His Red River Valley Boys, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, The Sons of the Pioneers, Lefty Frizzell and Leon McAulffe and His Western Swing Band all appeal on a cold, gray day.

Right now I am finishing up my notes for tonight's handout for the students. The cool thing is that yesterday and today were good days with God in private. I hope that I will be able to take the students in worship tonight where I have been privately.

Right now I am also 5 pounds lighter. It seems that the plateau is gone. I am now down 84 pounds since I started and I am only 3 pounds away from the third goal weight. That is really encouraging.

That is what's happening right now in my world.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Long Run

I have spent the past week (and also this week) getting ready for three weekends: our Freedom Weekend and two more disciple nows for guys in Oklahoma. Freedom is just a fancy name for Disciple Now. It is a crazy busy time.

Driving back and forth to Tulsa and then to Weatherford (I have no idea what I was thinking) is really limiting the amount of time I can work out. Things are slowing down for me. I need to be able to spend an hour working out each day. When I travel, I struggle to find 25 or 30 minutes. And it is been a struggle eating as well. When I control what I eat and where I eat, I do well. When I am at the mercy of someone else outside of family, it is really a crapshoot. So I am hoping that the slow down will continue one more week and then I can get back on track.

All that said, I lost weight since the last weigh in. I dropped another three pounds. I hovered around losing four pounds but I just didn't exercise enough. But losing any weight is a good thing. It took me 30 years or so to acquire all this mass. I am not going to lose it all in four months. I must be patient.

So if you add in the total, I have lost 79 pounds. Eight away from the next weight loss goal. I am hoping that I can make that goal in the next two weeks. But I am not holding my breath for it since I am spending too much time on the road and away from home. But losing weight each week is a great feeling. I just want to be skinny now.

So far: down 79 pounds.