T-Wray and Gucci

T-Wray and Gucci

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I recently suffered through the Adam Sandler movie "Jack and Jill."  I don't know why I rented it. The only movie of his that I thought was a little funny was "Big Daddy" and even that one didn't have me rolling on the floor but did generate a few giggles and maybe a belly laugh. I hate the fact that Al Pachino was in this movie because even he couldn't save it. Below you will find a list of ten movies that are funnier;
             10: Sophies Choice
              9: Mask (not the Mask)
              8: Ryan's Song
              7: The Lovely Bones
              6: Gummo
              5: Schindler's List
              4: Mommy Dearest
              3: Misery
              2: The Champ
              1: Old Yeller
  Stay dialed in my friends.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Songstory; "Suspicious Minds"- Elvis Presley

 First of all I have to say thanks to Shawn for inviting me to take part in this event. My song is actually not a defining event but a memory of what I think to be the song that caused me to want to play and write music. When i was a very young boy this song moved me. It Made me feel something. There was just something about it that gave me the feeling that I realize now was this. We can be connected to a song. That it can shape our future selves into what we are meant to be. That whether we know it or not at the time, a single song by a single artist can shape the person we grow to be.
 This was my first "favorite song." I remember knowing what song it was the instant it came on and the joy I felt that I was getting to hear it again. It has all of the elements that make a great song. It is catchy and heartfelt. A rare combination. The guitar riff so original and pure. The vocals that made you take pleasure  in the pain the singer felt. It has horns. It has strings.
It is just so Fucking good. I knew I wanted to do that. I wanted people to feel every word and sing along like it is their song written especially for them.
 A little recently learned history about the song: It was Elvis' last #1 hit in his lifetime. It was written by Memphis singer Mark James. It was produced by Memphis soul producer Chips Moman. Moman also played with such legends as Aretha Franklin and Rockabilly legend Gene Vincent.
 Anyway. This song means alot to me because of the connection I felt and feel to it. I have heard a lot of covers of Elvis' version but to me they all pale in comparison. I may have shot fine young cannibals had I ever gone on a rampage but, at least they had to realize it is a great song if they paid the fee to record it. I have never listened to the original version but may try to find it now. Every time I hear it now I remember that little boy (I was 5 when it was released) dreaming of playing that guitar and singing that GLORIOUS bridge although I am sad to say that I have never learned or attempted to learn it. I would be way too hard on myself.
 Stay dialed in my friends.Songstory; Suspicious Minds- Elvis Presley  blogmonstergang.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 29, 2011


 I received an itunes $25 gift card from my Mother-in-Law Sally for Christmas and was having much trouble deciding what to purchase with it. I finally bought a copy of the Chris Whitley song "Living With The Law" and also a Whiskeytown album I had never heard which turned out to be quite good. What else though. How do you choose from such a vast selection of music . Then it hit me and took me back over 20 years ago.
It was around this time of year in 1989 that I got my first real taste of what would become one of my favorite bands. I was working at a plastic manufacturing company in Mason Ohio called Hamilton Plastics, or maybe, Worthington Custom Plastics. I can't remember which it would have been but, that really has nothing to do with the story so we won't worry about that. It was the Christmas season so some of the people working 2nd shift decided we would have a grab bag style gift exchange. One of the QA ladies drew my name and sent message that she had no idea what to get me. so I confided to the messenger that there was a fairly new album that I would like to hear and maybe she could get me a cassette copy of this record as I did have a state of the art personal cassette player. A Sony, I think. Again, not important. we were allowed to listen to these at work and believe me. That was worth at least $1 per hour less in pay if they had charged us. I wrote down the name of the cassette I wanted and sure enough at the Christmas dinner, Mary (I don't remember her name but it seems every lady in QA was named Mary) handed me a neatly wrapped package that appeared to be a cassette tape. I opened with the enthusiasm of Ralphie tearing into his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle and there it was. The Cure "Disintegration."
 I couldn't wait to hear it as I had heard a song from it on 97X "BAM" The Future of Rock And Roll. A local and sorely missed radio station from my younger years. I first heard such personally influential bands as The Replacements R.E.M. Chris Whitley and Dinosaur Jr. As if on cue my son Casey just fired up "Customer" by the Mats on his newly acquired ipod. I love him. Of course according to my brother all of these bands were just a bunch of fags and couldn't compare to such bands as Damn Yankees or Knight Ranger. again, not important. I couldn't wait to hear it. When we returned to work after eating I put the cassette into my player and track one started. I turned it all the way up and got absolutely lost in the wall of sound coming through my headphones and when the lyrics began after the lengthy musical prelude of lush synth and heavily chorused "Plainsong" I knew right away that I was listening to an instant classic. 
"I think it's dark and it looks like rain," you said
"And the wind is blowing like it's the end of the world," you said
"And it's so cold it's like the cold if you were dead," and then you smiled for a second.
"I think I'm old and I'm feeling the pain," you said,
"And it's all running out like it's the end of the world," you said
"Feels so cold it's like the cold if you were dead," and then you smiled for a second.
Sometimes you make me feel like I'm living at the edge of the world, like I'm living at the edge of the world.
"It's just the way I smile," you said.
 Wow. If this was the only song on this tape it would have been what I wanted for Christmas. That is to this day one of my favorite lyrics of all time. Well, as we know that wasn't all because the next song complete with lengthy musical prelude was the song I had heard on 97X "BAM" The Future of Rock and Roll that made me desire this album in the first place. "Pictures of You." Smiths vocal is the essence of broken heartedness. I couldn't believe my ears. Could it get better? Yes.
 Up next "Closedown." I risked running down my batteries to have another listen to this one with the hypnotic drums and synthesized backing voices. It was like modern monks. With big sounding reverb heavy guitars. Robert Smiths"s voice is entrancing. Only he could pull this one off.
Then the future hit for not only The Cure, but some other band that is not The Cure, "Lovesong" had dreary eyed goth boys and girls bobbing their spiked heads in unison on at least three continents. Still as important today as it was then.
"Last Dance" stings like your first love telling you she slept with you sister. "I'm so glad you came, I'm so glad you remembered." Could this album be this good? Why don't I have any of their records? What have I been missing? "A woman left standing where once there was only a girl" I FUCKING LOVED IT!
"Lullaby" followed taking me back to my youth listening to "The Black Widow" by Alice Cooper. It was really nothing like the Coop except that it mentioned a spider man eating him. Although it could have very well been introduced by Vincent Price also. As creepy as it is. Then for the first time I heard the bass line for "Fascination Street." Another great tune with an irresistible groove to it. "Just put on you hair and put on your pout and lets move to the beat like we know that it's over" I knew it was over. My taste in music was transformed. My mind was opened to a whole new world of music. The hits just kept coming. The music had taken me to another place. I wasn't making plastic rings for washing machines. I was somewhere in the middle ages tracking a fucking dragon. I was walking to a castle to court a beautiful princess with dark make up and lily white skin. It was beautiful. "Prayers For Rain", "The Same Deep Water As You" the title track "Disintegration" and "Homesick." What a great song to end this tape. I was lost in it. I know it sounds like a bunch of shit but, after being force fed guitar solos that lasted longer than sex for most of my life I was listening to simple melodies. Music that was melodic. This music was more than showing off how fast your fingers can move up and down the neck of a guitar or how many notes you can force into a measure. It was slow. It was fucking beautiful.
I thought it was over so I flipped the cassette to have another listen and it was on like the second song already. Being hip to the new idea of hidden tracks I flipped it back over and fast forward to near the end of the tape and there it was. "Untitled." I was so fucking happy that it was there. What a nice surprise and the album ended the way it started. With a memorable tune. For me at least. The beginning of the song to me sounds like funeral music then it all changes in an instant you are grooving again. "Hopelessly adrift in the eyes of the ghost again" and just like that I was.
  "Disintegration" is just one of those records that, I think, will never get old. It has the elements that make music great. It is easy to understand. It is not profound but has strokes of genius. It has simple melodies that are , as crazy as it sounds, melodic and the words are pure poetry.If you don't have it or you're just not a fan of The Cure. Give it a try. You just might like it.
Stay dialed in my friends.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Here is where you'll find me, somewhere between the eggman and the walrus
I love the thought of the pile but I'm reluctant to join
A shy extrovert with a passion for passion
I share my passion with some who have no interest
I share with those who have a genuine interest and others who only pretend
None the less I will share it
Hide it under a bashful basket of self doubt or put it forth to the world
Bushels are not intended for hoarding and talents aren't given to be kept secret but to feed those hungry for sharing
So for those who are hungry>>>>>LET IT SHINE

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When T-Wray met Gucci

"Would you believe in a love at first sight? Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time" The Beatles.          
 The reason I am sitting here today, in this nice little Lindenwald home is because of the love of my life Sandra. Truer words were never spoken or, in this case, bloggen.
  Back in 2001 I was on a fast train to nowhere. My life was a complete mess. I was drinking heavily and spending all my time basically throwing my life away. I had lost my job and not doing anything constructive to turn my life in the right direction. I won't say I was worthless because there were lots of people who cared enough to offer their help, I just wouldn't listen. Nobody really knows just how desperate I really was. A dear friend who has since passed seen me at my favorite hang out and took me aside and reminded me I had been wearing the same clothes for several days and that I didn't look well and should consider the way I was living if I wished to live much longer. I love you Gerry. Thank you.
 Long story short I got a job and started to rebuild my life. I went to work for a small paper products company as a shipping clerk and things were looking up. One day while turning a corner on my forklift I nearly ran over a group of people taking a pre-employment tour of the factory. In this group one person stood out from the rest. She was a petite young lady with dark hair and eyes and the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I prayed from my heart that she would be hired just so I could meet her. I have never been so stricken. She was hired and a few days later I met Sandra. Sandra is from Lima, Peru and had only come to Honeymoon to interpret for her friends who did not speak English. The human resource manager offered Sandra a job because he knew he could use her assistance when training and explaining the job duties to the other Spanish speaking employees. Thank you Randy!
 As the days progressed  I spent a lot of time talking with Sandra and learning about her and her culture. She told all about Peru, that she had one sister and one brother her parents and a couple of nieces there. She also told me she was in a long distance relationship and had two children. DAMMIT!!! Not about the kids but the the relationship. I too was in a relationship at that time but I didn't feel the way the other person did. I know this is terrible but it was a relationship of convenience. Bad Tim. I know.
One day Sandra came to me and told me she had something to say. "Tim I like you" I was floored. My mind was racing. I couldn't believe this was actually happening. "I like you too Sandra." She looked confused. "NO.. I lied you." "Oh" I said. Really embarrassed by my mistake. "What do you mean?" " I don't have any children or a boyfriend." I don't think I danced but I know in my mind I was cutting a rug. She explained that the reason she told people she had kids and a man in Peru is so she wouldn't be bothered by them following her around like little puppy dogs or hounding her for dates. All of the things I was doing anyway.
 Sandra agreed to go on a date with me that Friday. So she told me her phone number and I wrote it down when I got back to the office and gave her a call that Friday. The phone call went something like this. "Hello?"
"Hello. May I speak with Sandra please?" "There's nobody here by that name." "Sorry." CLICK. That's me hanging up the phone in disgust. Ok. Maybe I dialed it wrong. "hello?" CLICK. Wow. I was soooooo disappointed.I spent the rest of the weekend wondering if she gave me the wrong number purposely or if it was a mistake on my part.
When I seen Sandra Monday afternoon at work she walked right by and didn't say anything. She only gave me a glance that let me know immediately that she had been stood up. I explained that I must have written the number down wrong and even showed her the paper. "You should be more organized, Tim." That was the first time of thousands that those words would be directed at me. I apologized and promised to make it up to her and asked her if I could take her to lunch on the following afternoon. She agreed and said she would like to find a place to get some books for her English studies. That day I came to her apartment and picked her up and she and I went to the library where she got her first library card and after the library we went for some Chinese food. If I wasn't stricken before (and I was) by now I was head over heels and I thought that maybe, just maybe I was starting to win her over. I started to bring her lunch to work everyday. I would help her on her job. I spent many nights on the closest pay phone to my apartment talking to her for hours on end. She possessed every thought of mine and I couldn't believe what was happening. My life was changing and I wanted to change with it.
Our First Date;
 On Friday nights at the bar I frequented had a band called Swank who I often sat in with for a few songs so I invited Sandra to come with me after work and watch the band play and have some drinks and she agreed as long as her friend Mariella could come along. Sandra being the smart young lady she was and is would never go with me alone. She would bring her friend Genny or Mariella whenever we went some where at night. That was also the hangout of my current girlfriend so I told her that Sandra was coming with me and that maybe she shouldn't be there if this was going to be a problem for her.  So we got there. I was smiling from ear to ear ready to walk in with the most beautiful lady to grace this whole in the wall with her presence and who was waiting at the door. My girlfriend. We just walked on by which, understandably, really pissed her off. So there I was at the bar with a couple of friends and someone grabbed me by the ear. Oh shit. This is not good. She continued to pull me outside and smack me around some, which I deserved, and let me know what I already knew, that I was wrong for doing this and I was basically a selfish and shitty person. Love can be like war in that there are sometimes undeserving casualties.
  Anyway back inside I'm sure my date was wondering what just happened and I had some explaining to do but it was loud and we were having fun so i would explain another day. I joined the band for a short set and put on a hell of a show bringing the crowd to their feet and putting a smile a mile wide on my new friend's face. It was actually a pretty good night. We finished the night at a late night restaurant where Sandra informed me she only wanted friendship from me and wasn't interested in a romantic relationship. I lied and said I was fine with that but in reality I was disappointed to say the least.
  We continued talking on the phone and I would bring her lunch or buy something for the two of us to share and we went to the drive-in. She came to the drive-in with me by herself and I was a complete gentleman and I think that's when she knew she could trust me. Now I don't know what it's like to be thousands of miles from home with no family or lifelong friends but I would imagine that finding a friend that you can trust is a big part of making this new place more like home. I helped Sandra in many ways. We worked on her English skills. We went to malls and shopping together. I wanted to show her everything. She also helped me in many ways. I felt alive when I was with her. Like my life had more purpose. I was and still am head over heals in love with this beautiful person and she could feel that it was genuine and started to feel the same way about me. As the months went by our friendship grew into love and a mutual respect for each other. I would try to sneak a kiss but she would only give me the Peruvian greeting and goodbye kisses. That just made me want her more.She met my children and family. I would talk with my Mom about her and she spoke with hers about me.
One night I was at the pay phone talking to Sandra late at night when she informed me that she and her friend Mariella were seriously considering going back to Peru. I was very saddened by this news knowing that if I let her get away I would lose something that could never be replaced. I told Sandra that she should do what is best for her but I hoped she would never leave me because i was crazy in love with her and wanted to be with her for the rest of my days. She stayed. A couple of weeks later I took her to the library where we had gone on our first afternoon together. I produced a small diamond ring and asked Sandra to be my wife. She agreed. I called my brother and he said I was CRAZY. As if that was some kind of revelation. She called her mom and she told her if she is sure about me and loves me then it's the right thing to do.
  I first seen Sandra on the 4th day of January in 2001. We married on the 27th day of april 2001. It is the 2nd day of august 2011 and we are still together. It hasn't always been smooth sailing and it hasn't always been rough. We have ups and downs, peaks and valleys. We are not the perfect couple but we are perfect for each other because we know that. She is what I refer to as Gucci and I am what she refers to as cheap . That's ok though because it works. Do I believe in love at first sight? Yes I'm certain it happens all the time. Stay dialed in my friends.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Let Me Tell You A Story

 Before I start this story I have to pose a question to all of you. How much would you pay to see a guy jump into a shallow muddy river from a distance that is almost surely to kill him? Now before you answer there are some circumstances to consider. It's shortly after a long night of adult beverages and certain amphetamines are racing through you like a fire in a fireworks factory and there are new friends to impress. Ok lets get started.
 One night back in the mid to late 80's I was out with some new friends after a hot 2nd shift in a plastics factory. Back then I was all of 115 lbs. and drank like a sailor on shore leave. That is if these sailors were buzzed after 2 beers and smashed after 5. Some of my new workmates had invited me to indulge in my favorite after work activity and I couldn't wait to show them how T-Wray liked to party. We all couldn't wait to get to the air conditioned bar after working 8 hours in the scorching heat of whichever month of summer this night happened to be. I don't remember but we will say June because I think that is a pretty name. So here we are , maybe 5 guys and 2 or 3 girls, at the bar playing pool and pinball and I think the bar had one of those bowling machines that had the big wooden balls that would absolutely trump a pool ball in a nice bar room brawl. Fortunately on this night the pool balls were used for pool and the bowling balls for bowling as nobody had the urge to display any acts of aggression toward one another. we all got along famously.
 Me being the new guy I thought it only appropriate that i buy my new friends a round. My generosity did not go unnoticed and in the 2 hours we were there probably 8 rounds were bought by different people at the bar and some of the a fore mentioned amphetamines were ingested and we were talking and laughing having a great time until those 2 words that will kill a party right in it's tracks were shouted. LAST CALL.
 So there we were at last call wishing the party could go on forever but knowing if it is to continue it will have to be at a yet to be determined alternate location. Just then one of the fellas said "we could ride out to the club." Now this was back when 50 cent was half a dollar and you put an "s" at the end of it so I knew we weren't headed to an "after hours" club because there was no such thing at that point in our countries history> At least not in southwest Ohio. So, naturally, I was intrigued by this "club." So we all pitched in and bought some overpriced beer to go and headed off to the club.
 Now I didn't drive to the bar because it was just down the street from our workplace and I was certainly in no shape to drive to "the club." I jumped in one of the cars that had someone sober enough to drive and off we headed to continue this nice summer party. In the car my new friends were telling me all about the club. where it was, what it was etc.. They also told me there was a caged chimpanzee there who liked smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. I thought they were just pulling my leg. They were not. There was, in fact, a chimpanzee or other kind of subhuman specie there who liked to smoke and drink beer. Though he or she has little to do with the rest of the story. How cool is that? Not only am I at a kickass party with my new workmates but also a smoking drinking chimp! What could possibly happen to ruin this wonderful summer night?
We were all drinking and talking there at the club which was located somewhere in Morrow Ohio along the banks of the Little Miami River. We were situated on a platform about, I would guess, 8 feet above and maybe 10 feet away from the river. The alcohol and amphetamines had everyone talking at the same time and it was loud and smokey and every one was having a great time. Then, it happened. One otherwise soft spoken happy go lucky guy who I will refer to as Mike, because that is his name and we are not protecting the innocent said something that would change this night and the people involved for the rest of his and their lives. Mike made it known with great certainty that he could dive off of the landing and into the river with no harmful side effects.I thought to myself, "NO WAY." Now maybe all of these other people knew that Mike was a true blue guy and not one of those people who will say something and then not back it up. I didn't know this. Maybe it would have been a good idea to let me know this because I too that way.
The night went on. There was more drinking more smoking and more of Mike challenging everybody to get some money together and pay see this daring feat. On and on he went "I can do it with no problem" he kept saying. again challenging the group to gather the money that would buy this act of drunken stupidity. Nobody would shell out the dough, probably because they knew Mike would try it. As I said before I didn't know Mike this way and had heard just about enough of his rambling. I pulled out a 20 and said something very close to "alright fucker, do it!" You could have heard a pin drop. My new friends were looking at me in disbelief. Like I was the one who done something wrong. Fact was I was just tired of this guy going on about it so I called him out. $20 right here. You aint gonna jump in the fucking river. You aint got the balls.
  Now if you want to judge me now for what I did in my twenties then you are not going to like me very much if at all, but I will tell you right now that sometimes you have to put up to get someone to shut the fuck up and I had heard enough.
 Mike took off his socks shoes and everybody crowded around him begging of him not to jump. Mike's response was to point at me and say "this fucker don't believe I can do it. I'll show your ass."
  "Show me then. I'm tired of hearing you talk about it. I've been listening to you all night. I'm ready to see it."
At that moment I realized that i had called a man out on a stupid stunt that could very well cost him his life. There was  no turning back for Mike. He was a man of his word and I could see that now. I turned to him and told him "Mike, I don't know you very well so I challenged you to do this thinking that you wouldn't do it. Now that see you are willing to to show that you can, I don't want you to. Keep the $20 but please, don't jump."
"No way man. You put up the money and I'm jumping!"
 I will never forget the sound of Mike's feet on the concrete. I turned my head head. I heard a splash and some cheers from the crowd. Holy shit he made it!! What a relief. I felt the weight of another mans life lifted from my shoulders.
Stepping from the water Mike didn't look so good. "Holy shit! Look at his fucking head!" someone shouted. Mike was bleeding from the forehead. He made the water but had not judged the depth very well. I was in shock. "Oh fuck we have to get him to the hospital." everybody rushed to the cars to get Mike medical attention. In the confusion I was left behind. I had no idea where I was or how I would get home.
 I started walking down the dark back roads. Not knowing which way to go or even which way I was headed. It was so dark. Maybe in the morning. I could here dogs barking and to be honest I was scared as hell! I continued on , worrying more about the man I'd just paid to commit suicide than myself until a car pulled up and told me to get in. One of my new friends? No. An off duty police lady who had heard the sheriffs calling in an unknown male stumbling down the middle of an old country road. She told me that if not for her I would surely have been arrested and most likely given a nice beating from the deputies who were en route.
She asked me where my car was and I told her and she drove me back there and gave me a piece of gum and sent me on my way. Oh, by the way, I made a pass at this wonderful lady and she responded to my action by reminding me that she had gun.
It was daybreak by now and on my drive home I tried to recall the events that had taken place. It was really cloudy in my now halfway sober head and I wondered if Mike was ok. I learned later that he had about 16 stitches in his forehead and was going to be alright. Two days later mike was back in the hospital with a microbial infection from the water. He was hospitalized for weeks. My friends tried to assure me that this wasn't my fault and I shouldn't fell badly , but every time I seen Mike after that I could see the scar that night left on him. He's never seen my scar.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My First Blog

So what do you you write about on your first blog. Remember one of your friends might actually read it so, you have to try to impress. Maybe you could blog about the awesome way you play guitar or maybe go with a more humble approach. There are so many possibilities.
 Where do I start? "I am a fun loving Virgo who likes long walks in the park, sherbert ice cream, watching children swing, butterfly kisses and snuff films." No that won't work. This is not a dating profile. So what the hell am I supposed to BLOG about. This is too much pressure man. I'm not good under pressure . I always say the wrong thing. Now I'm sure I will blog the wrong thing because of this pressure. HELP!
 Ok. I know. I could blog about blogging.
What is blogging? What makes it not writing but blogging. Is it because it's on a place like this? Maybe because it is done on a computer? Damn blogging about blogging sucks. This must be the worst blogging blog ever. Fuck! I suck at blog blogging. I would be willing to bet that there is a guy out there that is really good and considered a blogging guru when it comes to blogging about blogs. Also a person who will believe that I really like snuff films. Maybe I should remove that. Shawn Abnoxious is a great blogger. Maybe he could give me some tips. God knows I need them.
  Anyway let me continue this new passion of mine with a fervor not matched since that guy from the Sex Pistols met that chick and they died. Hey. Maybe I could blog about music. I'll bet nobody ever thought of that. I'll  be the first blogger of all things music. Wait a minute, I should research this. Ok. I just googled music blogs and there were 54,500,000 results. Who would've thunk it? Well look at that, GOOGLED is not a word yet. How is it that this is not a word? In the last minute it is safe to say that thousands of people googled. I tried to get a number for you, my reader, but google let me down so I guess you could go ask Jeeves.
 Well, my promise to you is that I will try to get better at this blogging thing and bring you words of wisdom and hilarity on a regular basis for a week or so then slink back down into my world of random thoughts, dreams about vicious dogs and absolute laziness so stay tuned for that week or so and I will try to right the ship and keep all of you dialed in like a shortwave radio.
        Goodnight fellow bloggers. we are a rare breed. There only 22.6 million of us left so stay strong.