- Bret Holmes Baltimore Md

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I Kan't Spell

Monday, November 27, 2006

Giving of Thanks

Clean linens adorn a table that sits on a mirrored wooden floor. A floor mirrored by it's own lacquer. A consummate conservatively dressed woman in her early 50's comes to the door to hug her daughter. She speaks with a heavy Middle Easternish foreign accent. She is warm to those who enter her house and her greetings are given with merit somewhat on credit. As if her "Hello, you are very welcome." is on loan. It is a good thing to be reserved when welcoming your daughter's boyfriend into your house. It is a good thing to not just give welcome to any man bringing home your crowned jewel.

I was thankful for so many things on Thanksgiving. I was thankful I made it another year without any serious repercussions from my wasted last 4 years. I was thankful that my life had taken shape and direction on a better path. I thought of these thanks and knew that I was just being thankful for her. I was being thankful for the woman that wouldn't let me be alone on my Birthday or on Thanksgiving. I fielded questions about marriage and the future. I talked with her brother's doctor friends and while at first was a bit embarrassed to be wearing what I look at now as shabby clothes, I found myself comfortable with who I was. When I enter her house, I really do find myself very calm. I have a hard time wondering if it's me or if it's them or if it's the love I feel for her. I'm sure it's a combination of all of those things.

I watched television with her Father, whom at first I was told that I would fear as Argonauts feared the wrath of Poseidon, but in fact I genuinely enjoy his company and find him to be both pleasant and sincere. It's hard when you don't have much of a family, to walk into someone else's home and have a spine or a leg to stand on. The last thing you want to do when you are around a good family is explain that you don't come from one. And it's not as though I don't come from good stock, but the next Thanksgiving dinner that I'll be having will be with the family I create and not with the one I ever had. The last things you want to talk about are nuthouses, police, step fathers, bankruptcy, etc... But, I did talk about some of those things. I talked about them because her, and my love for her allows me to not really be afraid of anything. She knows all those things. She knows them and she still brings me to her parents lovely home for Thanksgiving dinner. She's proud of me, and if a woman like her is proud of me, than I am proud of me.

I haven't written much about Jas and I because things can be difficult sometimes and you lose initial fire, sight, and reason for some things. You get depressed or you get frustrated to the point where you may seem like you don't care. But, if you love someone there is a cure for your emotional or outgoing ambivalence. The cure or ability to get that spark is to take them out of your mind and imagine your life without them. All you have to do is realize what you have for 5 seconds and things such as not putting the clothes away or not going to 7-11 seem to fade away. I'm not saying certain things that you do or don't do aren't important; in fact, the little things you do are the grease that keep the wheels turning. But, without that inherent love, there would be no wheels, much less a need for grease. So while the grinding of everyday life can be annoying just remember that the sound of the grind reminds you that you are alive.

So I would like to give thanks to the most wonderful woman I know. I would like to thank her for loving me and giving me a chance to be something I always wanted to be; a good man.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Dear Santa Claus,

Nobody on our team hits 30 home runs. I would like to have fat Carlos Lee on the team and I would like for him to hit home runs. I think this would be a real help for us in left field and in the middle of our lineup. Also, some Legos. But mostly fat Carlos Lee.

I would also like for Peter Angelos to sell the team. I wanted to say "I want Peter Angelos to die in a flaming truck wreck." But, you are Santa. I can't say that shit. So please let him sell the team to the likes of Chip Mason and any evil Bond character for all I care, even Dr. No.

I would also like to have a 1st baseman. While I love Kevin Millar I can't take another year of "Cowboy Up" 800 OPS man showing me that he can't really do splits and that his hair is -wait for it- actually dyed a little bit orange. Also, I want to tell you that I'm not happy with you giving the Cubs their present early, in the form of Alfonso Soriano. But I do appreciate the hilarity of him hitting leadoff - AGAIN! -

If none of these wishes are possible, please give Hayden Penn and Adam Lowen another 8 MPH on their fastballs and give the fountain of youth to Melvin Mora and let Tejada be able to field again.

Please see what you can do Santa because if I have to endure another year of sub .500 baseball I'm going to rip my face off and erect a statue of you in my yard and worship you as the Anti-Christ and scare all the children of the world. And if I do that your fat fuckin ass won't get cookies. So don't fuck with me Santa. Give my baseball team a chance.

I love you.

I would also like some more GI Joes.

Your friend,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Old Friends

Old friends are useless unless there is a mutual respect. What I fail to find most of the time is the lack of mutual respect either on my part or theirs. I had friends and then I lost them. I have friends now that I had once lost. I don't understand why it hurts so much or why I take it so personal but I do. It's some sort of strange insecurity in me that I need someone to need me as a friend. I sort of want them to care that I exist. For some reason though, they don't need me, they don't care if I exist, and I play no role in pretty much every life that I know. As a matter of fact the only role I play in most people's live is the role of pest or something similar. I can see why, now that I sort of type it out, that there is really 0 desire to keep in touch with me. I can see that. It bothers me but it is time for me to move on. It is time for me just not to really care about those who fail to care about me. Because believe it or not, I don't want to be a pest, and I don't want anything from anyone. I actually do just want to help or be there if needed. Either way - I have no desire to know about 98% of the people I've known. It's about time to move on because where I am is nowhere that I wanted to ever be.

Old friends are great because when you see them 10 years from now you'll still be able to exchange stories, invite them into your home without thought, and they can root around your fridge and pick up your baby without even asking. There will always be that. But still believing that old friends are your "now" friends is pathetic. People move on and grow up. They find new friends and new things to do. Throwing up on the steps of the city or listening to crappy music just doesn't have the same clear ring it used to.

Weddings et al

Her swinging blue dress
(Blue like dark water in a movie)
Will touch
My Tuxedo leg, while her smile
Leans her heart towards
A Chandelier
That could not compare
To the light it creates in the
Eyes of the woman I love.

She will clench my hand
And snuggle her face to my shoulder.
Slow songs cause
Only the action of one,
To the wish of all
Of the gift I received.

Sweat and toasts
Bring the hands.
Sweetbreads and chicken
Touch the mouth.
Clinking of the glasses
Twinge the mouth.
Smokes outside in the cold,
Hope with breath
Reaching the moon that
Our day would be
Something more or more the same.

My Jasika.
Holding her during
Those moments on a wedding day
Makes it all the more
When she slips her satin glove
Under my elbow
I'll tilt to the chandelier
Compare the glimmered light
To her eyes.
Comparison is not comparable.

Vernacular of the Working Dead

Everyday I have meetings or teleconferences or just phone chit chat in a professional sense. I have to say that these listenings of other people are starting to drive me insane. It's not the topic of the conversation or the impeding work etc... that may take place due to the conversation that makes me mad. It is the monotone, lifeless, numbing, couldn't possibly be emotional, could barely be construed as human, voices on the other end. I don't talk like that. I will never talk like that and today I was chastised for not speaking in that zombie tone.

I talk on the phone like a human. I talk as if I were a guy trying to help you do what you do. I talk to solve, not to patronize and deliver it to you as if we were going to write a report later on it or as if it were a deposition. I talk to people as if we were trying to solve a problem or reach a conclusion. I don't talk to people as to be subservient to some predestined "I am the boss/customer and you are my peon" role. That's how I am talked to. There is nothing more grating sometimes than when someone shows no emotion and yet still speaks to you in a condescending way.

On the flipside of that I find it very hard to understand how people can take such offense when I just try to speak to them as a human being. "You shouldn't say things like that." "You should be more professional." "You should understand what they want to hear.".

As if me calling someone "Buddy" or saying in a playful way "jeeze this is really screwed up." is such a hole in the armour of the conversation. I am often met with "Excuse me?". I honestly think if we could talk to each other like humans or at least like people who want to get something done as opposed to wanting to make other people feel how superior they are.

That is a really outdated and cowardly way to handle problems.

I have ideas. I have a job to do. I am not here to pose malice or cover my own ass. I am not here to lay blame or hide from fault. I am here to help and solve problems. If you are here to hide, cover, cower, and blame then I am sure you will take that sort of chess style conversation motif. You can play that game that consists of "I am professional" and "you are professional" and "we are both professional" and "we are talking about professional things in a professional way" and we say things like "Protocol, ROI, turn around, process, mandate, and emphasis on engagement". You can talk that way and you can cut your efficiency by more than a 1/3 or you can cut through the bullshit, not be a robot, and talk to me. We both make money and we are both professionals and have jobs to do. If I don't do my job, then I don't have a job. That's it. That's the bottom line. If you want to gunk up progress with "professional" jargon than I hope you find you have wasted your time, my time, and everyone else's time.

You know who I love to hear speak? I love to hear CEO's and CIO's speak. It's only middle management that talks like I have described above. It is only people who don't have the fortitude to stand by their own ability to deliver that hide behind their "professionalism". Real people get things done. Smart people make decision and don't have to be overtly polite and lawyerlike about it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


"Are you ashamed of me?" - I liked you so much better when you didn't really give a shit. I enjoyed you so much more when I was more of a trophy or a science project than anything else. If you make me feel sorry for you, I'll loathe you even more than I currently do. I already feel bad enough as it is. I don't need to be goated out of my shell of reason and back into an arena of confusing manipulation by the only person who can manipulate me. It's not personal. It's preservation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Voting may be the largest farce ever attempted as an actual resolution to issues. It's not that I don't find it to be a time honored hallowed right. I cherish the endearing fact that it was given to us by people who died solely for that purpose. However, to be honest, the system in which voting takes place and the people representing America on higher Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Presidential levels, while ambitious and I'm sure at one time virtuous or at worst idealistic, are now nothing more to me than a slithering bunch of lying bastards who are about as in touch with normal/poor (since they are the same these days) people as I am in touch with the Aborigines that walk the Australian deserts.

I love the people who don't think they are poor. I adore the middle class who think they are free from the shackles of the "poor". You are only one accident, one poor deicsion, one slip up in life from being desolate. I love the people that continually HAVE to go to work every day and slave for someone else, but they have a nice car or a nice house and take a vacation at the beach twice a year and hence think they are free from the slippery slope of poverty. Those blind sheep are the one's shaping America's voting patterns and it is that lifestyle they covet. The sad part is that the people you elect hope that you covet it. It allows you to ask less question and you certainly wouldn't speak out against the system that so lovingly allows you to have your shiney baubles and lush green lawn. But how free are you? How happy are you with the life you have acquired? I think if you looked deep inside, you would say, "Not very happy at all." The sad part is that that lifestyle isn't real and with one strong reaping of the rapier along the lines of a stalwart recession or even a depression; our jobs and lives will dry up. And then who do we blame? We should blame our own apathy or ignorance at thinking that our vote or opinion mattered.

I pity our media. I pity them beacuse they have betrayed our country. Laying on their death bed years from now they will know somewhere that they helped to plant the seeds of anti-democracy. They shaped policies that killed. Even lobbyist, credit card companies, and people who work for the DMV are reserved cooler places on their forehead in their final resting moments. It is the media's job as bestowed to them by the people of America (we gave them the right to control the air waves) to portray our most cherished asset, "Democracy", in the least shaded light. Instead they side with these contestants as if it were a pageant. I would love to expound that but I won't. Just know that the media should be blamed for our ignorant opinions.

Let me ask you a question before you ask me if I vote or before you tell me that you vote:

1. What issues currently affect you?
2. Where does your voted candidate stand on those issues?
3. What district do you live in?
4. What happens to the Mayor's office if O'Malley wins?
5. How much of your paycheck goes to taxes?

I'm willing to bet 80% of people can't answer a majority of those questions correctly. So before we get in line to vote to protect our trite little lives, boring possessions, and glazed-over apathetic perspectives, I implore you to consider really delving yourself into the process of electing an official and try to identify with every day Americans and the red tape, extreme taxation (really without representation), ignorance towards your existence and realize that we once fought a revolution over tea. We once marched in the streets and torched elected officials for lying. We as a country were once a vibrant beacon of what the rest of the world hoped to attain (except France - who really taught us everything).

Voting is possibly the most worthless civic duty you can perform. I would much rather people marched the streets and refused to pay taxes. I would much rather we demand free Medicare, demand proper schooling not based on monetary districts, and we demand that our streets, instead of being cleared of crime, that our streets become equal breeding grounds for people to succeed and live a life of prosperity and freedom. The largest trick the government ever pulled was trying to convince you that you are free. You aren't. The sooner we realize that poverty, taxation, fear, and oppression are actually commonalities that we are more likely to share in place of liberty, prosperity, and justice then we may do what our forefathers actually intended for us to do; unite in the face of a tyrannical Government that uses force and fear to keep us from not only striking back with equal oppressive force but even mouthing the words "You are wrong."

You may be saying to yourself "I don't feel any opression." "I like my life." " I am free." I honestly think that your somatic interpretation of what you currently perceive and what was intended is very blurred. The freedom that is inside of you is an artist or a maniac. It can be a family man or a farmer. It can be anything. But if you honestly believe that you have the "freedom" to choose or the ability to be free then I implore you to think about things like credit reports, criminal records, anti-terrorism bills, cops, tolls, taxes, homeland security warnings, election tampering, passports and honestly tell me what you have ownership over? What is yours? Tell me what you control. You have ownership over the decision alotted to feed the machine. You can decide which brand of soda to buy or where to vacation but you couldn't even fathom leaving your current life and starting somewhere else based on your own labor and merit. You couldn't even put up a tent in most states without having a "license" to do so.

I would much rather we voted for CEO's or special interest groups.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner." - Ben Franklin via Tim Boucher's Website.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Oasis - The Masterplan

For many of you who don't know, I adore Oasis. I have explained why numerous times but what I don't think I have ever really explained is the appreciation for the amount of great work they di in such a short time.

British bands release singles, and with that single comes a "b-side". American's often do this but usually what they do is remix or re-release an older song as an acoustic version. When a band has 2 or 3 singles they will have to create possibly 10 more songs to accompany them. Oasis' 10 or more songs released as b-sides are possibly better than any full length album put out by any band not named "The Verve" or "Radiohead" at that time.

When Oasis came on the scene in 94' Noel Gallagher had a fountain pen that wouldn't stop churning out masterful songs. His b-sides to the singles that were released are considered by the most avid fans and music afficianados as his best work. They are considered this because they are arranged in a more classical fashion or laid back fashion and usually with him singing in lieu of his brother. While they may not have been instant classics in terms of their catchiness they are revered as something to treasure and behold, especially among the catagory of b-sides.

This song below is the best b-side I've ever heard and in my opinion should have been released instead of "Whatever" and even instead of Champagne Supernova or - right after it in the fall of the same year.

Please enjoy my and just about everyone else's favorite unknown Oasis song: BTW - this video is released in conjunction with the new Stop the Clocks album to be released. While I do not condone the purchasing of Soccer Mom greatest hits collections I do have to say that if I would recommend one - I guess this would be it - well this and all the old Motown, Chess and Sun record recordings.

Get this video and more at

And here it is live at - what was - the biggest festival Britain had ever seen - in front of 100K people at Knebworth:

Favorites List
Pandora Song List
Amazon Wish List
Revolutionary Wealth - Tofflers
Brian Jones

Things Making Me Smile
The City
Listening - [out of 5]
Benjy Ferree - 4.8
The Thermals 3.1
David Gray 3.8

Like the guy with the beard? YES - like the guy with the beers. What? Yep

Bands That I Check Schedules For
Badly Drawn Boy
Belle and Sebastian
Benjy Ferree
The Black Keys
Drive By Truckers
The Eels
Kimya Dawson
Mark Hopkins Band
Iron and Wine
Mates of State
Ted Leo
Two if By Sea

Places I Rock in the Flesh
9:30 Club
Black Cat
Electric Factory
The Knitting Factory
The Otto Bar
Recher Theatre

Places I Eat/Drink in the Flesh
Bishop's Collar
Cross Street Market
Hull Street
Joun Gak
Mick O'Shea's
No Way Jose
The Irish Pub
The Waterfront Hotel

My Greatest Hits (that's so lame)

The time I almost killed a child
July 4th in Korea
Excerpts from Demian
Why I screen phone calls
Bret's Death Metal Report
A conversation at a cocktail party
A conversation at breakfast
So you think you are a Baltimorian
A conversation about a girl singer
Observations from a bar
Observations of strippers
Tech Language
Why I love Oasis
I would go to war
"You Son of a Bitch" An Open Letter to Tom Friend
Dance to Your Ocean
Dream Ranch
When men become pussies
Jason Whitlock is a racist propaganda promoter
Pitchfork takes music snobbery to new level
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
The Hatred that is Runts Candy
Starting corporate line-up
Google Bio
Do you know me? List 1 / List 2 / List 3
The Night I Burned Philly Down
So You Want to be a Booze Hound
She Said it was Free
Funniest Corporate Story Ever
Striped Shirts and the Fucks that Wear Them
Death Peddle
Pieces of Morning
Oasis Album Revew
The Art of Tipping
Starting Fires With Grass Stains
Bret's Federal Hill Food Review
Sexcapades and your Picture on the Internet
Stupid Secrets
Stupid Secrets the Return

Contact Me

Stuff I Swing By From Time to Time

Indie Video Archive
Large Hearted Boy
Important Records
Oasis News
Pitch Fork Media
Reptilian Records
Scenestars MP3 Blogs
Sound Garden Baltimore

Shotgun Apparel
Warrior Clothing

Angry Little Girls
Atom Films
Eye Envision
Homestar Runner
Kill Frog
Junior Varsity Meat Market

Baltimore City Paper
The Baltimore Sun
Calvert Hall
Degroen's Brewers
ESL Cafe
Fantasy Sports
Korean Herald
Villa Julie College Baseball
W3 Schools

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