Top Three Hard Rock Musicians Who Look Like Dungeon Masters

These guys can rock, but they sure look like they’d be more comfortable on the other side of the screens, drinking Mountain Dew right out of the two liter bottle and rolling dice on a Saturday night.

#3: Geddy Lee.

He’s a little older now, but so are pretty much all the Dungeons and Dragons players. Kids these days are into the MMORPGs and mobile games, I think.

#2: Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More.

Of course, at the first sign of orcs, he’d tear off his shirt to make the rest of the gaming group feel bad about their sunken chests. And he’d be sure there you would encounter orcs early just so he could.

#1: Dave Mustaine.

I mean, come on.

He even sounds like a Dungeon Master.

Reading Edna St. Vincent Millay

Back in my coffee house days (yes, those very ones which produced the poems within Coffee House Memories), I hit numerous open mike nights around town, and attendees knew what to expect from me, from sonnets to ending with the poem “An Evening Walk.” I would mix in some “covers,” where I would recite a poem by another poet or even cool prose from someone like Raymond Chandler.

But if I went to an open mike for the first time, I would do a little trick: I would perform Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Love, though for this you riddle me with darts….”

You can see what this sounds like when a proper British woman reads the poem:

That’s not how I did it, though.

I’d sign my name on the sign-up sheet, and when the MC would call it, I’d go to the stage or the microphone with slumped shoulders, clutching a set of papers shyly, and I’d warble my voice breathlessly into the microphone, “This is a, um, sonnet” as though I were suffering stage fright (which Edna St. Vincent Millay herself did–she was known to take a belt before readings). And then I would throw the papers aside, leap from the stage or in front of the mike, and shout/snarl the first ten lines like a challenge to fight Cupid waving my fist in the air. Then, I’d deliver the last two lines like an aside.

Less formally than Edna St. Vincent Millay herself would have done.

I wouldn’t need to pick up the prop papers I brought, though, as I had whatever I was going to perform memorized. Ask me someday how long it takes to recite Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” at the Venice Cafe.

Good poems, good memories. Like my book!

A Very Brian J. Saturday

Today, I:

  • Participated in my second Y Not Tri indoor triathlon at the Pat Jones YMCA.

    It’s my second year in a row, and my third overall triathlon. The morning did not get off to an auspicious start. I have my phone alarm set for five and six am (in case I want to sleep in, I can just shut the alarm off and go on sleeping without fumbling to reset the alarm). So last night, I turned off the five o’clock alarm so I could sleep in directly, but I’d failed to remember that just last week I set the alarms off on Saturdays since I like to sleep in (generally, until seven, which is a far, far cry from what “sleeping in” meant in my younger days). Fortunately, though, I awakened at 6:11 and managed to get to the YMCA plenty early to check in.

    While checking in, we were to put our own numbers on our biceps instead of having a volunteer do it for us. So I looked down, and did my best, and inked my number right side up but backwards.

    So I wrote it again under it.

    I tried to tell everyone I did the first one like the flag patch on the right sleeves of the military (backwards, but to make it look like the military is charging into the wind). I’m not sure anyone bought it.

    So I survive the triathlon, and then I jumped into my car and raced westward so I could…

  • Attend a martial arts class.

    I got to the martial arts school seven minutes before class (that is, 23 minutes after I finished the triathlon), dressed out, and hit the water fountain. I didn’t drink a lot of water during the triathlon because I didn’t want to swallow a lot of air, but then I had about a liter of water in the truck. Which meant when I put on the heavy gi, I started sweating a lot, and I briefly wondered what I was doing.

    But I got through the class okay. I didn’t make too many tired mistakes while sparring (well, my head would have only been knocked off once or twice).

    But I made it through, and more importantly, I impressed my beautiful wife.

    Later in the day, a little logy from the day’s activities and a short nap, I went out again, where…

  • I Went to the antique mall and bought a charming little Tiffany lamp that is perfect for our mantle.

    I got home just in time for the dinner hour, but nobody was really hungry since we’d stopped at a pizza buffet for lunch, so…

  • I baked some delicious chocolate banana bread.

    I have a very rigorous banana-eating timeline, which is as follows:

    Week 1: I LOVE BANANAS! I EAT ALL THE BANANAS!
    Week 2: I buy an extra couple bunches of bananas to sate MY DESPERATE NEED FOR BANANAS!
    Week 4: I need to do something with these very ripe bananas.

    This has happened a couple times in a row (well, the row is several calendar months). The last time, we gave the second loaf of banana bread to the teachers at my boy’s school. Tomorrow…who knows?

So, basically, the masculinity arithmetic today was basically a wash.