A Few Quick Things, vol. 42

protectorYesterday I left for work at the normal time, and before I even made it to Interstate 81, the Devil’s Parkway, I was trapped inside a colossal traffic jam. What in the paper-thin hell?! I could feel the acid and fury bubbling inside my gut.

About twenty minutes (one mile) into the journey, my phone rang. It was Steve. I answered it, and he got an earful about my situation. Then I settled down a bit, and we began having a normal conversation.

Until, that is, some shitbag — his face distorted by anger — rolled down the window of his minivan and screamed at me: “HEY, GET OFF THE PHONE, ASSHOLE, AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD!! PUT DOWN YOUR GODDAMN PHONE!”

First of all… we were moving at roughly a half-mile per hour; dogs and lizards were passing us. Secondly, it’s legal to drive and talk on your phone in Pennsylvania. And thirdly, this dick really needed to mind his own business. “HEY, FUCK YOU!! STICK IT UP YOUR ASS!” I yelled back. And the guy threw his hands up in the international sign of exasperation, and shook his head with sadness.

Yeah, I know. It’s not wise to go around hollering the F-word at strangers, and aggressively inviting them to insert undefined items into their anus; it’s a good way to get shot. But sometimes an emotional toggle-switch gets thrown. Ya know?

People love to be outraged these days. It’s become the national pastime. And some folks are generalists, while others have specialized. I suspect the whistle-dick yesterday was a specialist, focusing on cell phones. That’s his “thing.” Right? I bet he tells everyone about how it infuriates him whenever he sees someone using a smartphone. You know, because he’s a hero.

I agree that people shouldn’t be texting and driving, but that’s not what I was doing. I was talking, and sitting in a barely-moving car. And I’m able to do that without problems. Perhaps I’m super-human? I’m not sure.

Tonight I’m going to see the Eels in Philadelphia, with Steve and my two sons. It’s about the eighth time I’ve seen them, I think. It’ll be the second time for the boys. Should be fun.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this bizarreness, but Steve Perry of Journey performed with the Eels a few nights ago, and it was his first time onstage in almost twenty years. Why did he do it with a semi-obscure indie rock band, in St. Paul, Minnesota?? The whole thing made my brain melt down a little bit. He even did “It’s a Motherfucker.” Crazy.

And here’s the explanation. It’s a pretty cool story. I doubt any reclusive classic rock legends will take the stage tonight, but you never know. In any case, I’m looking forward to the show. It’s always a great time.

Have you seen any bands multiple times? And I’m talking about reality… not that “I saw the Ramones at least 75 times” brand of bullshit. Sheesh. Please tell us about it, if you have anything to report.

As you guys know, one of my official Rules of Thumb is that nobody cares about the weird dream you had last night. So I’ll keep this brief.

A few nights ago I dreamed — for what seemed like hours — that I was wearing a jacket constructed of nothing but copperheads. The snakes weren’t doing anything to me, but there was an enormous amount of potential for problems. I was wearing a jacket of snakes!! Needless to say, I was stressed and anxious, for what seemed like an entire session atop the platform.

Any idea what that might have been about? A slithering, always-moving coat o’ copperheads? Shit! It was quite comfortable, though. And, I might add, not lacking in style.

Do you think it’s just a standard anxiety dream, taken to the next level? What’s your diagnosis? Should I pull the trigger and get myself into counseling, right away? Ha! I’m the sanest sumbitch you’ll ever meet. There’s nothing wrong with me, that $5000 wouldn’t fix.

Before I call it a day here, I want to thank you guys for the continued support. I know change is sometimes hard, and often annoying. But I think this new site will be a good thing, in the long-run.

What are your thoughts on the first week? Was yesterday’s update too long? Should I shorten ’em up a bit? Do you like the secret updates? Anything else you’d like to see? Other than more Nancy stories, of course? Please give me your feedback on how we can improve this thing. We’re in the early days here, and I want to make it as satisfying as possible.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

We’ll do it again on Monday.

Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!


  1. Well, other than more Nancy stories, how about MORE NOSSIE STORIES????

  2. Other Kristin says

    I’ve been away for a while, but I’ve *always looked forward to Nancy updates 🙂

  3. I walk pretty much everywhere I go. Or I ride the bus. I can tell you that I have been almost hit many times by people talking on their phones while driving. Even worse – is seeing the fucking bur driver looking at his phone.

    I don’t really care for Eels or Steve Perry, but that Puddles dude sure can sing.

    I hope you have a great time at the show. I hope to see Jeff Tweedy in Pittsburgh pretty soon.

  4. Love anything wvsr (the) related.

    Multiple bands:
    Hamell on Trial
    Drive-by Truckers (over 25 times)
    Phish between 94 and 98 when I could finally drink and got bored.
    Marilyn manson same time period
    Soul Coughing
    The Toadies
    Local to cincinnati/ohio
    The Seedy Seeds
    Two Cow Garage
    Wussy (former ass ponys)
    500 Miles to Memphis
    Local to chicago
    The Saps

  5. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I saw GG Allin once. I stayed towards the back of the room, so no feces or bodily fluids could reach me. I only saw the Ramones five times. I hope that’s OK. I’ve seen Dylan five times as well. Perhaps the band I’ve seen most is the Flaming Lips (6 times over the past 25 years or so). I wonder if Harv was there (?)

  6. I saw rock band Avenged Sevenfold numerous times. They are my favorite band, I never get tired of them.

  7. Steve in WV says

    Damn… Feels like old times. Good to have the old Jeff back. Some of your best essays have been about every day life.

  8. Bathroom adventures are usually funny.

  9. Bands I’ve seen multiple times include:
    Rush (until I got tired of them)
    Judas Priest
    Tower of Power
    Dokken (because they were on literally every rock festival tour throughout the ’80s)

  10. Nancy, Nossy, Sunshine, Poppa Half-shirt, anything to do with Andy, and the Secrets, please. Throw in some Toney-isms and hear the angels sing.

    I don’t think I’ve seen any band multiple times unless you count the ones that played the bars I worked at. They’re not together anymore.

  11. updates are never too long.
    Also, according to Freud’s classic dream interpretation theory, a snake featured in a dream represents a phallic symbol that could relate to a male figure, male energy or how you experience your sexuality.

    • So, you’re saying it was really a coat of cocks? I reject that notion!

      • No, I would go more with the male energy. It is your fear of leaving the secrets home and all the damage they (the coat of snakes) could cause.

    • madz1962 says

      I was going to go with the dick theory, too. Copper… hmmm like those copper top batteries? They just last and last. WOW – Toney is one lucky gal!

  12. sunshine_in_va says

    Well – at least you weren’t wearing a suit of turds.

    Seriously – don’t eat anything with tomatoes within 6 hours of going to sleep. If I do anything like that, it’s like I went partying with Timothy Leary and he slipped something into my drink. Tomatoes: the other hallucinogen.

  13. Gordian Knott says

    I think that the secret updates should be a nuclear dumping ground for everything that you’ll like to put on the main page, but can’t, because you’d get in fucking trouble. Nancy updates. Nossie updates. Translucent updates. (Does the older translucent still “roll” his mother’s skin to control his temper?) Workplace stories that would get you into trouble if presented on the front page. Let’s get back to the secret updates of the 2010-2011 era–some brilliant material graced these pages back then.

    • sunshine_in_va says

      I thought the one Translucent had to roll his skin in lieu of breastfeeding, which he still wanted to do (at age 9, or whatever he was at the time). I’d love to know where those little buggers are now, so I could put at least 5 counties between me and them.

  14. I’ve seen the Ramones just 3 times. Also, I did not have a dream about snakes, but did find a dead snake on my patio this morning. What the hell?

    And I’ll read anything you care to write sir. Always entertaining. Thanks.

  15. madz1962 says

    Not only do people like to be outraged, they also like to be offended. Over everything. Christ people, lighten up.

    Have fun tonight, Jeff!

    Multiple concerts: The Rolling Stones – about 8 times before ticket prices soared where you needed to take out a second mortgage

    Bruce Springsteen – 5 times

    George Carlin – about 9 times

    Tina Turner – 3 times.

  16. squawvalleyskip says

    Never a fan of Journey. Just did nothing for me. Bands I saw multiple times; back in the 70’s Clapton in at least three different states for a total of probably half a dozen times, Stephen Stills three or four times depending on if you count with CSN&Y in ’74, New Riders of the Purple Sage a couple times, the Flying Burrito Brothers twice, maybe a couple more but there’s about a 15 year span there that’s pretty fuzzy. And the new site works for me. specially these secret updates. But I agree with everyone who says a N&N/translucents/Sunshine&Mumbles update would really make my day.

  17. jeff_in_SW_Ontario says

    I also wonder about how that group is turning out, unlike a TV series, I’m assuming the storylines continue…

    I’ve seen George Thorogood a couple of times, and Dr. John.
    Don’t go to big concerts much anymore, sometimes blues festivals when I get the chance.
    I saw U2’s 360 tour in Toronto, that was impressive.

  18. Tyrosine says

    1. Generally when I’m offered unsolicited advice from strangers in no position of authority, I instruct them to….how do phrase this……Go forth and copulate their immediate female biological predecessor. That tends to shut the door on all further discourse.

    2. New site is good. Kinda like the old site with a different name and different background, which is fine because WVSR didn’t really capture the essence of what the site was about anyway (IMO), and no one was visiting it to see the background. To be honest I was afraid you were just going to pack it in, so I’m just glad it’s still up in some form.

    3. I’ve seen Pearl Jam several times and each show was great. Also Grapes of Wrath (an alternative band from B.C. from the late 80’s / early 90’s).

  19. How many times have I seen bands like Earth Wind and Fire, Rush, Road Master. Countless I tell ya, countless… Not to mention a local band here in Raleigh called Steelwater, an awesome cover band that featured the nimble fingers stroking the bass strings of another well noted surf reporter. I digress though. Love the secret updates. Keep em coming

  20. Greg in Cincinnati. says

    Good to see you posting more. I liked the old site, but am open to your changes. I don’t see the need for secret updates, just one more piece of e-mail. Just my 2 cents.

  21. Back in the 80s I saw Doug and the Slugs twice. In this decade I have seen Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans 4 times. Two of those were the Friday and Sunday of the the same weekend. I skipped the Saturday show because it was going to be in a college bar, and I would have been that creepy guy that’s too old to be in a college bar. That, and the $45 bridge toll to PEI.

  22. Updates – the longer the better (that’s what she said). The secret ones are awesome, because it makes me feel like I’m a member of some kind of exclusive club. JGE is *not* open to the general public.

    There are very few bands I’ve seen more than once. The ones that come to mind are Tower of Power, Pharoah Sanders and Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand). ToP is back in town in September, and it’s a must-see.

  23. Bands thing = Steely Dan, James Taylor, Rolling Stones. I like variety in my music.

    As for updates, I’ll take anything as long as I’m in the secret club. But I do admit to being partial to N & N and the translucents. See, Jeff, this is why I love, man. You are comfortable talking trash around us special folks that ride the short bus. Warms my heart!

    Hell, I’ve even been reading the archives the past few weeks just so I could feel okay about your being absent from our midst. Ran across a bunch of folks in the comments that I’ve missed around these parts. Hope they surface again cause there were some awesome responces out there. I’ve never shared one of your essays that I didn’t remind the recipient to read the comments.

    • BTW, I hope Elvis shows up with the Eels tonight in Philly. You know, he works at Friday’s there and does pretty well with tips from regular customers.

  24. Jersey Girl in Pa says

    I’ll read anything you write – grocery list? Been there, read that! Same age as you and been through similar work and non-work experiences. Music- love all kinds (can only take so much rap and polka-I guess that speaks to me as a transplant to NEPA and not a native). Reo Speedwagon (first “real” concert). Styx, Chicago, U2 (6 or 7 times-once at Letterman show), Billy Joel, Moody Blues, Rush, and then (cough, cough), Barry Manilow, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken (I told you I like all kinds of music!). Those are just the ones I remember that I’ve seen multiple times.

  25. I pay to see Counting Crows every time they’re in Atlanta (because that’s where I live). Other than some bar bands back in Savannah when I lived near there, they’re the only band I’ve seen multiple times. I think it’s been 5 times now, maybe 6.

  26. And I love secret updates.

  27. I don’t usually go see bands multiple times.
    I have seen Megadeth a few times though. They totally win over the rest of the 80’s metal guys in recent years.

    I do have a rule that I can’t where a bands t-shirt unless I’ve seen them live. I hate seeing little shits wearing t-shirts of bands in which every member was dead before the wearer was even born.

  28. Lately my anxiety dreams revolve around my not being able to move properly (i.e. Constricted) to meet what ever situation my subconscious throws at me. I believe it is a premonition of either an impending stroke or the fact that I have two immovable 100 pound bulldogs sleeping on either side of me hogging the covers. I’m rooting for the bulldog theory.

  29. Rachael Smith says

    Your posts are never too long. I love it when you join in the comments. Sometimes I feel like there’s no point in making a comment if out fearless leader doesnt get involved. Also, love the secret emails… It’s also cool that you have a schedule, not sure I remember it exactly, but I dig it. Gives me time to make comments and read everyone else’s, which can take a long time, before you post a new one.

  30. I’ve seen Bruce Sprungsteen too many times to count. Also R.E.M, Van Halen, Weezer, Blink 182, Metallica…
    Wishing you continued success Jeff.
    I love any and all Nancy stories…especially those that involve The Translucents.

  31. Multiple bands/solo acts:
    Fleetwood Mac
    Paul McCartney
    R.E.M. (back when they were “just a college band”)
    Molly Hatchet
    Hank Williams, Jr.
    Willie Nelson
    Hootie & The Blowfish (back when they were “just a college band”)
    Bruce Springsteen (with and without the E-Street Band)
    The Kingston Trio
    LL Cool J
    Huey Lewis & The News
    John Mellencamp
    George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic
    And so many local/indy bands in the southeast who were trying to “make it” so they toured constantly, playing multiple nights at the bars I worked/hung out in I can’t even remember…

  32. Just keep those ramblings coming

  33. revashane says

    There was a time when you posted the funniest comments in your Friday email. I liked that.
    I dont want any shit from you guys but I LOVE the Little River Band. I saw them w/ original singer 4 times in the 80’s.

  34. baad flea says

    Love secret updates too. I would never turn down a good Nancy story but there is something very satisfying about encountering phrases like “What in the paper-thin hell?! “, My all time favorite is “power farting into the upholstery”. Someday I am going to find a way to insert it into a conversation where persons of authority are present.
    Love the bit about outraged generalists vs the specialists – never thought about that before, but it is true. I feel so much wiser now.

    I think I am a generalist. Not sure though. Is there a category for people who hone in on one thing for awhile but then change up to something else? Please let me know. I must know where I fit in the big scheme of things. I know that in the big picture I am totally insignificant but I must know what bit of the great universal insignificance I own.

  35. Stuart from Oz says

    Love your work Jeff, keep it up, I’m not one to criticise so I’ll take what ever you feel like publishing, it’s all gold!!

  36. Secret updates are great. I don’t think the current updates are too long. I did always like the bizarre “Further Evidence” links and things of that nature. I like this new website. I actually have a bone right now. Weird.

  37. SaucyDeb says

    I dig the new updates. I wouldn’t be pissed if you brought back Further Evidence and Picture of Day. Ya know, because you don’t have enough to do…

  38. aileen in jackson ms says

    Wow, I haven’t commented in years.

    I’m liking the changes so far. And I like secret updates since I’m an elitist at heart.

    I’m sorry to say that I saw Cinderella 6 times in the 80s, not because I wanted to, but because they were always, ALWAYS, the opening band. I’ve seen bunches of others multiple times, too, but this is my shame.

  39. Iron Maiden – 6 times.

    I once saw a dude eating a bowl of cereal driving down the highway.

  40. Kathleen says

    I’ve been gone a long while because work has been shitty for a good 6 years (which is crazy), but it’s nice to see you haven’t changed. I’m just glad I’m on the mailing list to know you’ve moved just in case I ever get time for myself ever again.

    I’ve seen a number of bands multiple times, but with less than 4 hours of sleep and twelve hours of work, I can’t think of what they are at this point of time, other than Iggy & The Stooges. I have seen them EVERY time they’ve played in the Detroit area since 2003.

  41. A jacket of copperheads. hummmmmmmmmmm Now there is a bite.

    Why not employ Florida to ride with the suggestion and convince them that jackets made of Burmese Pythons is the going trend. In 3 months all will be caught from the Everglades, Florida will be happy and snake free and the retired population will have a new craft to work on answering the call to sew sew sew sell sell sell.


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