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  •        
    02 Dec 2012

    Happy Birthday

    I'm starting to get used to celebrating my birthday at TBM concerts. This year it was about a week prior to my birthday at a show on December 1 held at New York's Gramercy Theatre.

    Along with the tickets, I had also purchased the "VIP package." This package included an autographed poster signed by all members of the band, a "VIP" laminate on a lanyard, and... the opportunity to meet the band prior to the show!

    You may be thinking, "But they stick around after shows and mingle with their fans anyway," and "You've already met them a few times!" Both are true. And even with this "VIP" package meet-and-greet, they still make time for all their fans after the show. What this provided was a somewhat quieter meeting in a more intimate setting.

    In fact the meeting was in a small lounge beneath the concert hall. Dim mood lighting, mirrors, and couches set the atmosphere. I spoke with Rainbow, Michael, and Nate first. Rainbow informed me his name was Michael also and made a joke about the "power of the three Mikes lighting the room." After a bit, they started moving me to Chibi who was sitting on a couch after injuring her knee during a show two nights prior. She tried to walk to me, but I told her not to. She said, "I'll meet you half way then."

    I gave her a get well card, knowing she had had surgery on her vocal chords about 8 weeks prior and recently injured her knee. Someone decided we needed a photo of that and she gave me the card back so I could give it back to her. I believe it was Owen who said, "Act natural and hold it for 30 seconds!"

    I asked Rainbow about writing "Unfamiliar" because both he and OE were given credit in the liner notes. He said it was mostly OE; OE started it and Rainbow had finished it. I said I wanted to thank them because it was a song that had taken on some greater meaning to me and I relayed a brief version of the story of the moment I recognized that. It turns out "Unfamiliar" is one of Chibi's favorite songs too.

    Every one of the bands that night were amazing. All, remarkably, were performing as duos. Creature Feature was a real fun band to see. Their music is heavily influenced by old horror movies which gives them a dark yet fun sound.

    Aesthetic Perfection put on a good performance. Their drummer is amazing and fun to watch. They heavily synth-based and while there was a dark tone to most of their songs, they still had fun and lightened things up with a Fine Young Cannibals cover.

    William Control was the only other act I had heard before the show (Thanks Last.fm!). He was great live and I'd love to see him again. He reminded me a little of Dommin in that Dean Martin meets Glen Danzig sort of way.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album. For most of the set Chibi was sitting on a speaker placed near center at the front of the stage, wearing a knee brace. She stood up and moved around occasionally, but not much. At one point Rainbow sat down on another speaker and stuck out one leg in a similar fashion to how Chibi was seated and laughed a little. It was easy to tell by their interaction here that Chibi and Rainbow are close.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Night Shift
    • Down
    • Control
    • Always
    • Red Stars
    • Video kid
    • Lover's End
    • Forever
    • Pins and Needles
    • Happy Birthday
    • Alibis
    • Calling
    • In the Dark
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight
    • -- Encore --
    • Leaving Tonight
    • The Long Way Home
    • Blue


    The band did not leave the stage prior to the encore as they normally would. Chibi said, "This is the part of the show where we say thank you and leave and you clap and we come back out and play some more. But I'm not going to walk down those stairs anymore than I have to, so do you want to hear three more songs?"

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    12 Dec 2011

    Happy Birthday

    Last night, as an end to my 30th birthday weekend, I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Teaneck. The show was at the Mexicali Live which is a rather small, intimate venue with full table service for dining, and a bar with some really good microbrews on tap.

    The first act was A Verbal Equinox. I thought they were pretty good, especially considering they all seemed to be still in high school. Their set was pretty tight, with mostly original songs and a My Chemical Romance cover. Frankly, I think they did the MCR song just as well, if not better, than MCR. They definitely had a good rhythm section.

    The next band, who shall remain nameless, was described by some as "Armenian Industrial." I thought the music was good, but I wished the singer would just shut up. No singing, no talking to the crowd. Just. Shut. Up. Their set would have been awesome as an instrumental.

    During their set they had two "gothy cheerleaders" on stage. It turned out that one of them was my friend's niece. Kinda random.

    After their set, I ran into a couple of the kids from the first band and talked to them a bit. I told them I liked what I heard and they thanked me and gave me a CD-R labeled with sharpie containing their first recorded single. Something about that is just awesome.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Pins and Needles
    • Control
    • Happy Birthday
    • Forever
    • Burn Away
    • Shallow Grave
    • Always
    • Weekend
    • Video kid
    • Blue
    • Looking Glass
    • Lover's End
    • In the Dark
    • Horror Show
    • Red Stars
    • -- Encore --
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight


    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all. After they finished, Rainbow was on stage for a bit talking with people from the crowd. I told him it was a great show and asked if they'd be playing "Broken" at tonight's show with Dir En Grey. He said it wouldn't be in the set, but he loves that song and they'd rehearse it for their next tour.



    The Birthday Massacre on stage at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ
    A rather blurry picture of The Birthday Massacre from the show.

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    26 Apr 2009

    Happy Birthday

    Last night I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Hackensack. The show was at the School of Rock which is a rather small, intimate venue.

    The first act was September Mourning. I thought they were pretty good. I got to speak to Emily and Chris from the band later in the evening and they seemed like pretty cool people.

    Dommin was the next band up. The singer's got a pretty good voice and the bassist was really good. They played a cover of Depeche Mode's "People are People" and it was pretty good.

    I was a little less than impressed with I Am Ghost. They weren't bad, but I couldn't get into them.

    Early in the evening, before Dommin's set I went to the merchandise table and picked up two new shirts. Now I have TBM shirts that fit! I also picked up a copy of the new live album Show and Tell. Zimmy couldn't make it this tour, but Michelle, the girl who took his place, was just as awesome as he was.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix from their albums including songs from their three albums and the Looking Glass EP.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Red Stars
    • Goodnight
    • Falling Down
    • Play Dead
    • Weekend
    • Shiver
    • To Die For
    • Lovers End
    • Remember Me
    • Video Kid
    • Violet
    • Looking Glass
    • I Think We're Alone Now
    • Walking With Strangers
    • Blue
    • Happy Birthday
    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all.

    After the show they came out to meet the fans. I was able to get their new live album signed by Falcore, Oen, Rainbow, and Chibi. The latter three also autographed the photos I had taken with them last year and they were pretty nice about it.

    Not that anyone really cares, but these are the photos my friend took. If you view the full version, be warned that I'm in the photos too.

    M. Falcore Chibi

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    29 Jun 2008

    Happy Birthday

    Friday night was the Birthday Massacre/Mindless Self Indulgence show. Due to various circumstances and events, my friends and I made it to the venue just in time to see the last 3 minutes of TBM's set.

    I made an attempt to see The Birthday Massacre last August in new York but that attempt failed due to prior commitments. So for two years in a row I tried to see them, and for two years in a row I failed. Sorta.

    After seeing the last 3 minutes of the set and being very disappointed, I went over to the merchandise booth to buy a souvenir T-shirt. My friend James joined me and we, mostly James because of his gregarious nature, started a conversation with the guy at the counter, whose name was Zimmy. We told him what had happened and asked if there was any chance of catching the band as their equipment was being packed up.

    He told us their gear had already be packed, but if we hung out after the show they'd be coming out to meet the fans. So we hung out after the show.

    After the crowd dissipated, we went back into the venue's main room. Sure enough, several members of The Birthday Massacre were standing around, signing autographs, and talking to the fans. James and I went up to O-En first. He was very friendly and talked with us for ten or fifteen minutes. I told him about missing the show two years running and he gave me his sympathies and thanked me for trying to get to the shows. I asked him if he had any idea when they'd be in the area again and he gave me a general idea of when to expect them to be back. He was nice enough to sign my copy of Violet and let us take a photograph.

    Next we went over and talked with Chibi. She was also very friendly although we didn't speak to her for quite as long as we did O-En. She signed Violet and took a photo with me and thanked us for coming to see them, even though we missed the set.

    The last member of the band I got to see was Rainbow. Like O-En and Chibi, he too was very friendly. We talked to him for several minutes and I collected another autograph and photo.

    All three of them were very friendly with every one and they all seemed to genuinely care about their fans. I had heard from some one who had met them before that they were some of the nicest people you could ever meet. O-En, Chibi, and Rainbow confirmed that on Friday night. Now that I've met them, I can't wait for the next opportunity to finally catch their set.

    Not that anyone really cares, but these are the photos James took. If you view the full version, be warned that I'm in the photos too.

    O-En Chibi Rainbow

    [/tbm] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


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  •        
    30 Oct 2010

    It's been a while...
    I haven't updated this blog in quite some time. A lot has happened since the last post.

    First and foremost, I spent about two months volunteering as the Cross Country team's coach for the local Middle School. Due to budget cuts, all athletics programs were cut. The local Police Athletic League stepped up and volunteered to take over the programs. Many of the teachers who have coached in previous years did not want to do so now, so the PAL went looking for volunteers within the community.

    A friend of mine with whom I train put me in contact with the PAL and after an application and vetting process, I became a Rutgers Certified coach and began my duties.

    The team was relatively small, seventeen boys and six girls. Having never really worked with kids before, I was glad that this year's team was half the size of last year's; however I was still apprehensive about working twenty-three middle-schoolers. Thankfully, several parents helped me throughout the season. One in particular was there with me for almost every practice and every meet.

    I tried to emulate the aspects of my middle and high school coaches that I thought worked, and tried different approaches in an attempt to avoid the aspects I had never liked. I wanted to motivate and inspire these kids.

    I told them about my history as a runner: my experience in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade, my first 53-minute 5K on the treadmill in March of 2008, my marathons, my personal records, and my improvements over the last two years. I told them I would never make them do any thing I wouldn't do myself in training. And I ran with them. Whether the day's training was 100 and 200 meter repeats, running the course, "time on feet" running, or fartlek's, I ran along side them.

    During one session I was catching up to the lead group, the fastest of the 7th and 8th graders, and asked, "Are you really going to let an old man with bruised ribs keep up with you?" One of them turned and said, without breaking pace, "You're not that old and you run marathons."

    During the Cross Country season, in the last six weeks or so I've run a few races and set a few PRs. On September 19, I ran the Marathon Tune-Up 18 mile in Central Park. I set a new 18-mile PR at 2:27:34, taking 18:56 off my time from last year. Also of note, I didn't end up in medical being treated for hypothermia this year.

    The following week I ran the 5th Ave Mile. I shaved 9 seconds off from last year's race and 3 seconds off my previous best in training. My new mile PR is 5:25.

    About 2 weeks later I ran the Hartford Marathon. My friend and I got there very late the night before the race. Because we were stuck in traffic for about four and a half hours, my friend missed the on-site registration. He debated what to do while we went to dinner at a local tavern. I promptly felt sick after eating.

    The next morning we got and got ready to run. I still felt sick from the night before and threw up the previous night's meal shortly before we went to the registration packet pickup. I got my bib and timing chip and my friend failed to convince the race officials to let him enter. When he asked, "can I run unsanctioned?" the response of the somewhat sympathetic official was, "I can't tell you that you can." So my friend decided to run unsanctioned. After all, no one said he couldn't.

    We lined up in the corral. Despite the way I felt, I knew I had to go out there and run my best marathon. I had told the Cross Country team what Prefontaine had said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I had to go out there and try to PR. But as Yoda said, "Do or do not; there is no try."

    I started the race keeping the 3:45 pace group in my sights. My friend kept along side me for the first three miles then fell back a bit. I had some conversations with two runners in the pace group, Gavasker, the pacer, and Jen, a woman who was looking to BQ. I kept with them the whole way and finished in 3:43:32.

    Unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend dropped out at mile 8 and made his way back to the start/finish area. He was there at the finish line, waiting for me as I crossed the line just ahead of Jen who BQ'd with 2 minutes to spare.

    The next morning I went out with some other friends and ended up running another 24 miles putting me at 50 miles for the weekend. Monday evening I ran in a charity 5K with another friend, and then took a few days off.

    Since then, the Cross Country season has ended. They had their last meet, a few more days of practice, and then this past Wednesday they had team photos followed by an end-of-season pizza party.

    At the party the kids presented me with a plaque to say "thank you." I damn near cried when I unwrapped it and saw the photo taken at one of our practices. But if anyone asks, I'll deny that part.

    Plaque

    The 6th and 7th graders also asked me to come back and coach next year. During and since the season, I've run across some of the kids in town. Every time, they come up to me and say, "Hey coach!" And that means the world to me. It makes me think I've succeeded, that there's a possibility I've inspired them to keep running. Hopefully they'll love running as much as I do, if not more.

    I've encouraged the kids to enter our town's annual 5K next weekend and several of them have signed up. I'm looking forward to running with them again.

    [/running] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


    contact

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  •        
    16 Aug 2017

    Sometimes...
    Sometimes it's dificult to find a reason to continue.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    04 Jan 2012

    Disgusted
    With the Goofy Challenge just 3 days away, I should be carb-loading. And I am. And with each bite of my lunch I hate myself more. Every time I eat, I feel fat. And every time I ingest anything that isn't ultra-lean protein or high-fiber, I disgust myself. But I sit here, shoving food down my gullet.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    22 Sep 2011

    When will I realize...
    I've been running for 3 years 6 months and 9 days. I've been 100 pounds lighter* for 2 years 9 months and 3 days. And I still don't feel like this is my body.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    22 Apr 2011

    This makes me sick...
    This is why I was fat. I can't believe I used to eat this way... Although the Guinness Chocolate Pudding does sound good.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    10 Apr 2011

    Acceptance, or lack thereof...
    A few days ago I picked up some dumbbells that had been left out, they were 40lbs each and I lifted them with one hand each. Three years ago the most I could lift, with both arms combined and "lifting with the legs," was 43lbs (the weight of my computer).

    Last month, I ran a 5K in 19:08. Yesterday during a speed workout I ran my two fastest 100m ever, 17.9 seconds and 17.87 seconds. Today I ran a 10K at a 6:24 pace, finishing in under 40 minutes. I've set a new PR in every distance I've raced this year except the half marathon, and that race I set a new record for myself on that particular course.

    I've put lost 126 pounds of fat and gained 36 pounds of bone and muscle. My body keeps getting stronger and faster.

    And I still can't accept my body for what it is....

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    17 Mar 2011

    I wasn't born this way; I made myself.
    I heard that Lady Gaga song on the radio the other day, you know the one that sounds like the Madonna song, and it got me thinking. On the surface it seems to contain a very positive message about accepting yourself because you were "Born This Way." You were born like this, you were made this way, there's nothing you can do about it so be happy with it.

    I disagree. Sure, when we're born we're stuck with the genetic material passed on to us by our lineage. But we're more than that, what we are, what we become, is so much more than how we were born. And this made me think about the Incubus song, "Make Yourself." I find the message of that song to be much more positive. While the song has an overt "them vs. you" context, the general theme is one of taking responsibility for yourself and what you become.

    Was I born the way I am today? Judging from the direction my life took in the first twenty-six years, and comparing it to the last three years, the answer is no. I was born heavy, weighing in over nine pounds. I grew into a heavy kid. I was always sad and lonely as a kid. I had few friends. I rarely went outside. I never played sports. I watched a lot of TV. I ate a lot. I got heavier. I got sadder. I got lonelier. But I was born this way, right? I should have just accepted it, right?

    While I was born heavy, I didn't have to stay that way. It was my own choices that made me into the depressed, obese misanthrope I was. Despite my claims that I was born that way, genetically predisposed to those conditions, I really made myself that way.

    And then I decided to change that. I took responsibility for my life. I started exercising. I ran. I ate healthier. I lost weight. I had better relationships with my friends. I started making new friends. I became happier.

    Just as I had made myself into what I was, I made myself into what I am today. The key to this change was taking personal responsibility for myself. No longer did I use the excuse of being born that way. I knew I was like that because of my decisions and my actions. I knew through my decisions and my actions I could change. And I did. I made myself.

    "If you really want to live, why not try and make yourself?"

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    13 Jan 2011

    Duality
    Given the infinitesimally small reader base of this weblog, and the fact that most, if not all, of those readers know me personally, there's a good chance that you know I've fairly recently gotten a pair of tattoos.

    The first tattoo, on my right arm, is a "26.2" in a giraffe print. That number, of course, is the distance of a Marathon in miles. Approximately one tenth of one percent of the population has ever completed a Marathon. I am one of those individuals and it is because of the Giraffes, the running team my friends started and pulled me into, that I was able to accomplish this feat.

    The second tattoo, on my left arm, is a 6x8 grid of binary digits which spell out my first initial and last name in ASCII. Beneath the binary grid is a "v3.1" in a more stylized font. I was named after my father who had been named after his father, making me the third, version 3.0 if you will. In the last few years I've "upgraded." I'm smaller, faster, stronger, kinder, more extroverted and more optimistic than I was, but I am not an entirely new person. Hence v3.1.

    There's more to the meaning of these tattoos than the explanations above. They represent the duality of myself. One represents the decidedly geeky nature that has been a part of me for almost my entire life. The other represents a newer aspect of myself, the endurance athlete.

    It has been difficult for me to resolve these aspects. You were a nerd or a jock. There was a perceived inherent conflict between the two. You could be one or the other, not both. I was a nerd. I was never a jock. Now I'm both.

    And I can be both. There is no reason can't, because this is what I've become; this is what I am.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]