the scene.

Last night my friend Matt and I ventured out from the depths of South Tulsa and headed downtown to check out some live music. We went up to Fassler Hall – the “German concept” bar created by Elliot Nelson (also known for opening McNellie’s). He seems to be conquering downtown one block at a time…
Our mission was to see the Paul Benjaman Band. I’d seen Paul play before, but not with his own band, and I was really curious to hear him on his own. Matt, who I know from work, agreed to come along, even though there was no punk band to be seen.
One thing I hadn’t anticipated was not only was it Oktoberfest weekend, but it was raining, which would drive all the drunks to take cover indoors somewhere. When we got to Fassler it was packed, loud, and smelling like french fries. PBB started at Standard Tulsa Band Time ( = late) but that gave us time to mill around, watch the early drunks, and find a few of my friends – Dylan, and Brad and his wife Anne.
Both Dylan and Brad are veterans of the Tulsa scene, and they’re great people to watch music with (which isn’t often, as most of the time they’re up on stage, not in front of it). They always manage to get good seats & know everyone worth knowing who’s playing music. Which is great for an up-till-now recluse like me – it’s the fast track to getting to know people.
So regarding the music – I think that Paul Benjaman is one of, if not the best, guitarists in Tulsa. That dude is good. Respect.
Things really got good when bassist Daniel Sutliffe sat in for the first two songs of the second set. I’d never seen him before, but that is some mighty funky bass. He’s small in stature, but huge in sound, and brought a little extra funk to the night.
Paul did originals, covers including a few JJ Cale songs, and it was all good. I didn’t write any of the set list down, sorry. But take my word for it – super good. I’ve included a clip off of YouTube so you can get more of an idea of his sound. It’s from last year, but you get the idea.
The audience was a little distracting though – Oktoberfest or no, I honestly haven’t seen that many people dancing on tables all at once in that small of a space before in my life, and I’m a veteran of Fender’s Grand Ballroom in the ’80’s so that’s saying something. And there was the drunk girl that passed out at our table… and the Car Bombs that Brian bought for everyone… And the yelling, and the sloppy staggering (I thought for a minute I’d get my eye poked out by one woman and her brand of “dancing”)… I’m not a big fan of alcohol to begin with and a night like that just reinforced my belief that not much good comes from it.
People kept asking me what I wanted to drink, and I would say, “I don’t drink” and they all seemed surprised. This isn’t the first time I’ve hung out with these folks so I’m not sure why it finally only came up last night.  One theory is the addition of a short skirt and cowboy boots to my bar wardrobe.

Dylan says that Fassler Hall has that semi-controlled chaotic atmosphere on a regular basis – not just during Oktoberfest. I was surprised to hear this, and I guess a little disappointed. They say the sausages are good, so that’s a plus…

All that said, I had fun – good music, good friends, good times. Paul plays every Sunday at the Colony, and tonight Brad is sitting in with him – but I can’t go. I’m one of the squares with a Day Job.

dylan after da bomb



things people tell me.

“I’m so glad I don’t have to date anymore – you know, having to go buy new underwear and all that stuff.”
– a female co-worker who has obviously been married for a long time, and presumably hasn’t had to go underwear shopping in quite a while, 10/13/11


further musings on tattoos.

So what can we say about those people who don’t really think it through before running out and getting inked? I wonder if they approach relationships the same way. Is that the type of person I want to go out with? Yes, we’ve all made mistakes, and we’ve all done things that, looking back, maybe weren’t such a great idea…so maybe I should hear the story behind your tattoo before I make a decision. Let’s take a brief tour of some of my relationships using tattoos as a bellweather:
Boy #1: This boy had a tattoo on his bicep of the upper half of a skeleton appearing to poke through the flesh of his arm. I have no idea what this was supposed to signify. If I remember correctly (and trust me, these years are pretty blurry), he thought it looked cool. Well there you go. This was the boy who definitely had a few bad habits, which I thought about going into here, but yeah, I think I’ll just let those go. What was I thinking? I may as well have had that skull tattoo on my forehead.
Boy #2: A tattoo of his college logo on one hip, and his astrological sign on the other…OK well from him we can gather that he was loyal (to his school, anyway), and I guess he liked to be symmetrical, but couldn’t think of anything better than an astrological sign to ink opposite the college logo. If I remember this right, alcohol WAS involved in the decision making process. He did end up being pretty loyal – but not to me. As for the astrological sign…well I can still remember when his birthday is…
Boy #3:  He had a tribal-looking tattoo on his right shoulder. This was the most interesting of the bunch. The most interesting tattoo, and the most interesting boy. He was the one that, to date, lasted the longest.  And to refer back to the tattoo – I could never figure out what the significance of it was. When I’d ask about it, I would just get “I don’t know” as an answer. And that just sort of summed up the whole relationship. I never could figure out what was important to him. I’m not sure he knew either.  I hope he figures it out someday – his tattoo and his life…
Next time, we’ll take a look at the 2 tattoos I got this summer.

compliance is my friend.

My day job deals with investments. I’m licensed to sell securities and insurance and whatnot – the rules and regulations that apply when you’re licensed are practically endless.
I have to disclose this web site, my Twitter account, my FaceBook page – anything I do that’s personal, but still public. My emails at work get saved for 5 years, searched for key words; and everything gets copied, scanned, approved, filed, and documented…
Once a year, we get a visit from our Compliance Department. They come through, look at customer files, ask us questions, make sure everything is on the up and up. Usually we get visited by Tom and Rex – our 2 Compliance Gurus. It’s pretty natural to dread these visits – they must know that their names don’t always elicit a whole lot of excitement (poor guys)… yet they are 2 of the best guys you could know.
I’ve tried to adopt a motto over the years of “Compliance Is My Friend.” They don’t want to bust me – they want to keep me out of the ditches. Sometimes they do end up busting me, but fortunately it hasn’t happened too often.
So last week when we got our annual visit from Compliance, I decided to invite them to lunch. We had a good time! Well, I had a good time, I hope they did too. They told me that they don’t get invited out that much but I think they still manage to eat pretty well while they travel. (And WE’VE never been invited out by THEM, ahem…)
Tom and Rex are 2 really nice people. I share some common experiences with each of them, and we’re all fairly particular about our record-keeping; in some ways we have similar personalities.
During our lunch, we talked about movies. I asked them what some of their favorite movies are – and got really different responses from both of them…

The Searchers
Red River
El Dorado
Random Harvest
North By Northwest

Animal House
Star Wars, episodes IV, V, VI
The first 3 Raiders of the Lost Ark movies
He even admitted to liking romantic comedies…

So, now you have a brief introduction to the Compliance Department. Remember, they are your friend.