Hell on Wheels – Gary Young MySpace Blog

Sulkies; bagpipes; yule logs; fishing lures.

Okay, Paul. Here you go.

I want to see the Milky Way. I want to go somewhere, lay out on the hood of my car, and watch the Milky Way Galaxy through a pair of binoculars. I want to see thousands of stars as they were thousands and millions of years ago. I want to be reminded how small and insignificant we are and why that makes everyone of us indispensably precious.

I’m readling (listening to) “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson. Man, it’s some lyrically dense writing. Normally, I set the iPod to “faster” when I listen to books but I had to slow this one down to regular. I’m having trouble keeping up. “The Alchemist” went down easy but this one is a challenge.

Yeh, I know. It’s been a while since I blogged. I was trying to wait until I finished the song I’m working on before I posted a blog entry. But I made a pass at laying down the vocals last Tuesday and … well, they sucked. Been trying to build my confidence back up since then. Give me a few more days and I should have it done.


I think I’m in trouble. It’s egg nog season. How can anything be so good? What demented beverage meister concocted this delectable, calorie-ridden balm. Brewed from the blood of unicorns, the hopes and dreams of orphaned children, and broken puppy tails. And eggs. Whosoever lets a drop touch thy tongue shall be gratified by a thousand pleasures but, verily, thou shall be tormented with a thousand calories sevenfold of despair and damnation.


I played paintball a few weeks ago. It was a work-sponsored event. I was reluctant but it was fun. What initially freaked me out the most was that when I got there , there were a lot of hardcore paintballers walking around. And there were a lot of kids there with their own equipment and gear. Like, people do this. The first game was over so quickly and had me thinking. If this is what war is like, how does anyone make it home alive? Apparently, the first game or two are pretty disorienting for newbies. I can vouch for that fact. But it was a slaughter.

If it had been real, Cox had his brains blown out and Waters’ face was shot off. One more had his major organs perforated like Willem DeFoe in “Platoon” (Barber’s Adagio playing in the background) and I (Begines, aka Hell on Wheels) took a shot to my shoulder that would have shattered the bone and severed a major artery. Out of the seven on our team, that’s three of us dead instantly, one of us bleeding out, and the rest with mortal wounds within five minutes. Scary. I can’t imagine what being a soldier is really like. In real battle, you don’t get to play once you go to the dead zone. No second chance. How did anyone make it back from Vietnam? How do the soldiers fight in Iraq where they fight in the middle of cities and sometimes can’t be sure who their enemies are? Mogadishu must have been hell. I hope the troops get to come home soon and that the Iraqis achieve some semblance of peace.

Absurdity is okay when it’s a game, but it’s just not right when it costs lives and limbs.


I saw a blues-rock guitarist, Joe Bonamassa, at Blues Alley on Friday night. I worked late and decided to hit up Georgetown afterwards for the 10 o’clock show. I met a keyboard player there a few weeks ago when I went to see Taylor. I was hoping to run into him again. I wanna play. But the show was pretty good. I mean, I’m a guitarist and that dude could play. Good grief. But I kept thinking, it’s about 10:30pm at night after we’ve changed the clock back, we’re inside an atmospherically darkened intimate jazz club. Why the heck are these guys wearing sunglasses??

I jammed with some of Starryville and crew last night. That was fun. I can dig that kind of party even though I attribute the headache behind my left eye today to the fruit punch. I played Paul’s PRS and man it is a sweet guitar. Holy crap. What a beautiful sound. That thing is a work of art.

Music good. I really do need to play and practice more. I think I could be good if I put some disciplined effort into it. I mean, I think I’ve got the skills to get my ideas out now, but there’s another level of musicianship that I’ve never quite reached. It’s the difference between the professionals and hobbyists, if you know what I mean. And you don’t realize it until you see the music live and and it awes you. If I could hone some mad skills plus my “sound” that I’m exploring (which I partially owe to Nando Lauria) … eh, it might be marketable to a degree.


Anyone up for a little social angst? Me neither but here’s a taste. Think of it like a reality TV show confession box.

I think that last night’s fruit punch was a bit heavy on the vodka. I guess it was vodka. Either that or someone was talking about Andy Kaufman’s character on “Taxi”. I have no idea. All I know is that it tasted so dang good but I only had two wine glasses of it and still had a sudden, overwhelming urge to be supine by the fireplace. But it was a cool group of people and the goal, if parties have goals, was to have a good time, catch up, hang out and play some music. Food, friends, music. Yeh. Good times.

This is in contrast to, say, work events where the goal is to get f’ing smashed. I’ve been thinking about how I fit into the whole Animal House social scene at work. In short, I don’t. Every time there’s a work event … well, let’s just say it’s more like work to me than work. But it is what it is, yeh. Then there’s the extra-curricular social scene. I can’t really get into the whole thing since this is a public blog. I’m definitely going to need to find some place or some social setting (and soon) that’s more … what’s the word. I don’t know what the word is. I want to hang out with my peeps but I’m not a college coed or recent grad. I’ve got to get home at the end of the night via Fahrvergnugen. I’ve got to go to work and function the next day.

Suits of armor; street light poles; bent hardwood; membrane switches.

But still, you have to go to these things, assuming you’re invited. Then you have to keep up with the new cliques that form every few months. You have to at least be abreast of what’s going on or you’re socially obsolete. I’m too old to be navigating what feels like a college freshman dorm hall. My whole thing, this thing of mine, is about connection. Give me a friend and a good conversation and I’m set. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake and, yes, there is much beyond that.

Hey, wait. I’m watching an old Jonny Quest episode and the same guy (the voice of Race) is voicing Dr. Quest, too. WTH. Hmmm, is it just me or is this a xenophobic, racist-ass cartoon.

I can’t hold it against anyone either, I suppose. The way I can’t relate to the whole binge drinking scene, I can’t expect my co-workers to relate to chilling in a bar/club with a few friends listening to live music. That’s fun for me but I can’t expect people to leave the coziness of their homes or routines to kick it with me at a mellow venue. That doesn’t appeal to them the way it appeals to me.

Still, having said all that here’s what it boils down to. I may arrive a little late and leave a little early. My attempts to include myself may be awkward and/or clumsy. I may be a boat anchor sometimes. But the fact that I’m there, that I’m present, is my way of at least trying to participate and to spend time with my (work) friends despite the disconnect.

I’m sure there’s a happy medium, though. Somewhere in there. I’ll bide my time.

Ha haaa! Okay, wait. Here’s an actual quote from this Jonny Quest episode. Race is trying to scare the Poho Indians, who’ve kidnapped Dr. Quest and another scientist, while pretending to be their water god:

“Alright, you ignorant savages! Get a good look at Akizio, you heathen monkeys!”

Wow. Darn macacas.

Currently reading :
Pattern Recognition
By William Gibson
Release date: By 01 February, 2005


I like Egg Nog (way too much for someone who hasn’t run much at all this year), but try Amarula.  It’s a liqeur made from the marula fruit.  Yellow-gold label with an elephant.

I can’t imagine getting smashed at a work event. 🙂  Here’s a totally random bit.  Check out darkconthemovie.com for what used to pass for socialization for me a decade or two ago.  I still miss it now and again, and have to remind myself that I quit going because it just didn’t grab me like it used to.

Posted by Rob on Nov 6, 2006 8:28 PM

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