Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Classical Music Soothes Road Rage

I've discovered something simply amazing: classical music soothes my road rage.

I discovered this by chance. Usually in the mornings, I bring my kids to school and so we listen to Veggie Tales or the Princess and the Frog soundtrack. I've convinced them to listen to my Neon Trees album, and occasionally I can get them to listen to the radio in short bursts.

And as most of you parents know, if you listen to Veggie Tales too many times in a row, you'll go into a violet fit of Road Rage yourself. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

On my way home from work I listen to SiriusXM. This is my Quiet and Reflection time. During football season I listen to NFL Radio. It's the only thing that usually keeps me sane during my commute from Baton Rouge into Prairieville. My commute isn't that long, but keep in mind that people drive for shit in Baton Rouge, and so there's always someone in the ditch, someone rear-ending another person, or someone hanging out their window dumping a bag of garbage on the median.

It's a Baton Rouge thing. Don't try to understand it.

But now that the NFL season is winding down, I don't get as much satisfaction by listening to NFL Radio. Especially at night. There's only so many reruns of Total Access that I can stand.

Enter: Channel 76, the Classical station.

I was in a tremendous traffic jam on Airline Highway one night (due to someone running into the ditch while trying to avoid rear-ending someone because they had to stop short due to some jackass throwing garbage out of his truck) when all of a sudden I went into Road Rage mode. Road Rage mode is like Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode but without the skittles.

If you listened to SiriusXM NFL Radio as much as I do then you'd get that reference.

I started screaming and flicking people off left and right, although it was dark and raining so nobody could see or hear me. I started pounding on my horn (that's not a euphemism by the way) and throwing stuff around my car, and I must have accidentally slapped my radio because I would never willingly change the station from NFL Radio (Channel 88!).

The most beautiful music came out of my speakers. I immediately calmed down. The rain even subsided a little.

It was Mozart.

222 years after Mozart's death, he's still entrancing people with his amazing talent. I was stunned. A tear rolled down my cheek.

I drove home in a daze. It was like nothing could bother me anymore! So be it if I were to be stuck in traffic for hours on end... I had my Classical Music station! Life was grand!

This went on for several weeks. Even when I brought the kids to school, we'd listen to one round of Veggie Tales before I'd slip the Classical station on. The kids would complain at first, but after a few minutes they were silent in the back seat, sitting calmly and listening attentively.

I thought I would never have to change the station again. I had my Classical music. What else would I need?

Until one day, when the rain came back. All of a sudden, something came on the Classical station that I had never heard before: dark Classical music! Dissonance everywhere! There were major seconds and minor sixths... major sixths and minor sevenths... the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization tossed out the window! It was pure chaos!

It was at that point that I realize that maybe I had been addicted to Classical music for a month or so. That Classical music, ever so pure and beautiful, was maybe evil in its own way.

Sure, it helped me get through Baton Rouge traffic for a month. But we're moving out of Prairieville and back into Baton Rouge. I won't need it anymore. I'm done with it.

But it did stop my Road Rage for a brief window of time. So I'm sharing my secret with you: Channel 76. Just watch out for the dark classical.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Most Inappropriately Named Stadium

There are some terrifically awful stadium names out there.

This is to be expected when the naming rights to stadiums are sold to businesses. That's when you get something ridiculous, like Papa John's Cardinal Stadium or Taco Bell Arena.

By the way, I heard that Taco Bell Arena is filled with Grade E talent.

We Louisiana folk got lucky in the fact that the Superdome is the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. No, seriously. It could have been the Tampax Tampons Superdome. (The Superdome: It's Super Absorbant!) We have no idea what it would have been named had not one of the most glorious vehicle manufacturers in the world decided to not buy the naming rights to it.

While good stadium names are hard to come by nowadays, I think I've found the worst:

Jack F. Rhodes Memorial Stadium in Katy, TX.

My apologies to Jack F. Rhodes and his descendents, but his name (said ten times fast) sounds pornographic.

In Jack F. Rhodes Stadium's defense, it's an amazing facility. All the high schools in Katy have their own stadiums, but that's where their junior varsity teams play. The varsity teams play at Jack F. Rhodes Stadium.

I knew that Texas loved its high school football, but I had no idea how crazy they were about it until I went to Jack F. Rhodes stadium to see our cousin play in the band at halftime a few months ago. Rhodes stadium was built using taxpayer money, has two huge screens at either end of the field (which even show instant replay), and fits thousands of raving lunatic Texas high school football fans.

There are several concession stands on each side of the stadium, multiple places to buy shirts and other things of that nature, and friendly event staff always willing to help.

They even had hot chocolate when we went. I mean, it could possibly be the greatest high school football stadium in America (besides Allen Eagle Stadium, of course).

But none of that stops me from saying Jack F. Rhodes ten times fast at least once a day. I can't help it. It's an amazing name for any type of building, but the fact that high school kids play there just makes me laugh.

Jack F. Rhodes. Jack F. Rhodes. JackFRhodes!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Goodnight, 2012. Hello, 2013!

I wanted to write a Goodnight 2012 poem before I realized how many Goodnight books there are out there. So instead, I'd like to write a Goodnight book to all the Goodnight books. I call it:

Goodnight Goodnight Books.

Goodnight Goodnight Books.
Like Goodnight Moon,
Goodnight Acadiana,
Goodnight Baton Rouge,
Goodnight Houston,
Goodnight LSU,
Goodnight Tigers,
And Goodnight IPad, too.
Goodnight, Goodnight NOLA
Goodnight, Goodnight Nebraska
Goodnight, Goodnight Dragons
But hey, I have to ask ya...
We always say goodnight to the great things we've seen.
Like Goodnight 2012... but have you said Hello 2013?!

For the record, we own most of those Goodnight books and we love them all. Betty and I even thought of making a Goodnight Prairieville book for the kids since we're moving back into Baton Rouge this month, and we could have the kids take pictures in front of all their favorite places in Prairieville. We could go to the spray park, the library, the LeBlanc's on the corner of 42 and 929 (we love it), Frank's, the Book Rack... we could even take a picture at the house down the street that puts up inflatables for Christmas. And of course we'd take a picture in front of our house.

2012 was a fun year, but we're looking forward to 2013. I hope everyone has a great year!