RIP Jack “The Cool Cat” Card (January 1992- June 2010)

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Warning: very schmaltzy. Today marks the three year anniversary of my childhood companion Jack passing away. Below, I posted an edited version of an old Facebook note I wrote back right after he died in 2010.  

Also, here are a few songs that remind of him that help make the note more sentimental. 🙂 

Jack first came to my family in the summer of nineteen hundred and ninety four. I was four years old at the time. He belonged to another family for a year, but they moved away without Jack (heh, their loss). The only collar that he had was a purple one with bells on it with no name tag. So we don’t know his original name, though that remains irrelevant because Jack suits him the best. It was my sister and her friend that named him Jack. I gave him the middle name Jason, I liked this kid in the neighborhood named Jason, but in retrospect he wasn’t that great. Jack was a billion times better. lol

[Jack] was a one of kind of cat, for instance his stripe patterns were unique for a male because normally cats with his stripe pattern are female brown tabbies. Jack is still the most beautiful brown tabby I’ve ever seen. I know everyone thinks that their first pet was the best in the world to them, but Jack is the King of All Cats in my eyes. The reason is not just because I was raised with him, but also because he was the most affectionate cat on the planet towards humans. If you had the capability to feed him, then he loved you automatically.

When he saw you he purred and his entire head moved from the purring, he had this habit of titling his head forward slightly. He also smiled at every human he knew, meaning he trusted you. Jack always licked people showing that he considered people a worthy part of the pack and to be respectful, it was his way of grooming people. Lol Though Jack was affectionate towards humans, he was also very vicious towards other animals. My neighbors considered him a “bully”. But what can one expect from a cat? They are very territorial creatures.

Jack was the alpha cat of my house and my entire neighborhood. No creature, cat nor dog would mess with him. The only creatures that messed with him unscathed were magpies, and that’s because they flew too high for Jack to catch them. (Though I never saw them in my neighborhood after 2001.)  In 2002,Jack was standing on one side of a road, and a neighbor’s cat was standing on the opposite side. Jack put one paw forward casually and the other cat went running to the hills. In his youth he was an extremely good hunter. My dad remembered a time when Jack climbed up a tree halfway, hit a squirrel with his paw, and the squirrel fell to the ground and broke its neck. He also caught quite a few birds and gave them to us as “gifts” around supper time. When he got on to his older age he was a master at slaying chipmunks, mice, and baby possums. Jack was also fearless. So much so that he would always get in front of cars that I was in. I thought it was from stupidity, but now I like think it’s that he didn’t want me to leave him. Jack loved eating, and he loved people.

Thankfully, he also loved eating people. <Just kidding.

He died of failing kidneys. Instead of facing 2-4 years of torment he decided it would be easier to fall asleep behind the tire of a car in my neighborhood. Jack loved my family; he picked us out of all the people that fed him after his old family left him when he was a stray. And he chose to save us the torment of having to put him asleep by choosing the fate he wished for (cats are fascinating creatures to say the least).

In death Jack was smiling and bared a very peaceful expression when we laid him to rest in the backyard. We placed brick and a giant rock as a grave stone to make sure no coyotes would disturb his resting place. I like to think that Jack was a super strong genius that loved all humans that could feed him, and he brought my family extreme amounts of joy. Personally, Jack taught me to love unconditionally, and for that, I am forever grateful. 

I wuv you forever more, fattest kitty. 
R.I.P. Jack Jason Card

Jack sleeping on an English book I never really liked. Cats always know 🙂
 
My pros was very different back then since I had a leaning towards passive voice and didn’t care for common grammar themes (it looked worse before I edited it, lol). But, the message that I loved Jack definitely still shows there in the eulogy I wrote him and that’s what matters most. After three years I think I’m finally ready to let go of the past and let Jack enjoy the big scratching post in the sky, where the Chicken Salmon are abundant and there is always a comfy spot to sleep. =D  
 
Lastly, I find it to be a good omen that from what was once dead soil there are flowers now growing from his grave.
 
-Tatteybye
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Reflections on College Graduation

It’s time to dust off the digital cobwebs of this blog and cast off this loathsome writers block off of my shoulder and announce; I have graduated Cum Laud from college!!

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This news does come with a negative side though; I’m no longer engaged to my now ex-fiance. I’m not getting into the specifics, but needless to say it’s been very hard for me since she left. From here on out I’ll be keeping my personal life out of my blogs.

Graduation day was long, and some of the speeches were not inspirational and very dry, but it was a great day overall. As I was waiting for my name to be called I couldn’t help but think of my humble beginnings at Salem State, the struggles I had faced, and even distant flashes of my high school graduation.

Time is truly the greatest force of change to the attitudes of mankind, as I never would have thought of making it this far when I was just an anti-social dude playing Xbox all throughout high school. But I did it, and the seeds of accomplishment are mine to reap. Unfortunately, so are the loans I’ve borrowed and the this miserable economy we live in.

The job hunt for me so far has taught me that temp agencies are the best route for corporate jobs, and that the best thing to do is have a relevant well organized unique resume that reflects who YOU are. People will endlessly critique your resume and change it to their idea of a perfect resume, and if you take that new resume to someone else they will change it to their liking and so-on (it’s an unending hair pulling process.) Lastly, show initiative before getting the job (going in person, research their history) and tell them how you can best be an asset to the company you applied too. Now, if only I could follow my own advice and get a job…

The important thing for me is to not give up hope, even though my future plans have changed pretty drastically from what they were in December. I would like to thank my family, friends, and loyal readers for getting me this far. I’ll keep pushing until I get further in life, and someday when the economy gets better I’ll be a Music Critic like I’ve wanted for the last four years.

-Tatteybye.

Newsted Live at the Middle East Downstairs Concert Review

The recently formed band Newsted played The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Mass on May 22nd. For those who don’t know, Ex Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted started his new band “Newsted” for himself and his fans to show his love of rock. Its members include Mr. Newsted himself on bass and lead vocals, Drummer Jesus Mendez Jr., and Mike Mushok (from Staind) and Jessie Farnsworth on guitar. The band’s current goal is to bring Metal back from the underground to the world (sort of like what I try to do when I interview rock bands, haha).

Before the show, I caught a glimpse of Jason Newsted taking a photo with some fans (below), then managed to yell out to that he was my Idol. Newsted responded by saying “You’re my Idol too, man!” I then yelled that I’d be posting an online review of his Concert at The Middle East Downstairs, to which he threw me a peace sign. As a bass player and aspiring Entertainment Journalist (plus as someone who faced a lot of hazing in my childhood like Newsted did in Metallica), half the reason I took this career path was to meet with famous musicians whom I deeply respect.

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The first band was a very Avant-Garde Metal-Core group named Acaro. They held a respectable crowd reaction; had a strong sound loyal to their genre, but managed to mix in some interesting riffs melodically. The lead guitarist, drummer, rhythm guitarist, and bass player were amazing. Notable songs include “For Ever” about lost loved ones, and a song where the bass player had this gorgeous bass intro on their last song. They have a strong future and tight sound.

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(http://www.reverbnation.com/acaro)

The second band, a group named “Wilson” from Detroit was more classic/hard rock influenced (think Dead Kennedys, Rush, Motorhead, and ACDC). They had a strong set list. The front man was very personable via jumping out into the crowd, and allowing people to sing into the microphone. During one song, the lead singer brought out a few beer bottles and starting playing them like a percussion instrument, and one by one the four band members took the beers away to drink.

In Wilson’s last song the lead singer brought out a marching drum that said “Fuckery” on it to everyone’s amusement. Towards the end of the night Wilson did a kick-ass cover of “Back in Black” where people from the crowd were able to sing along during the chorus. They’re definitely a great band that pairs well with Newsted.

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(http://www.reverbnation.com/wilsonparties)

When Newsted (the band) came on stage, the crowd went WILD!! In fact, some people were escorted off stage (one fan allegedly tried to push Newsted off of the stage recently as well). Newsted (band) opened up with a free jam, then Played Solider Head. He also played Metallica songs like Creeping Death, and Whiplash along his songs off the Metal EP like “King of the Underdogs” and songs from his upcoming album. During the end of one song, Mr. Newsted referenced the Boston Strong motto and thanked the fans for their positive energy and enthusiasm.

In each song, Newsted presented himself very optimistically as a front man using very emotion filled vocals, and expressing very animated body language and facial expressions while playing to set the mood of the song (along with the music). Newsted explained the entire American tour was to be used as a launch pad before the band goes global, and the release of their first album in August of this year.

Towards the end of the show Newsted took out his bass, sat on the edge of the stage alone and played the opening to My Friend of Misery to everyone’s astonishment. MFOM was so awesome; I could have died a happy man at that very moment from hearing my favorite bass riff ever played live finally!

This was by far the best concert of my life so far, since I got a fist bump from Jason and my friend Brad caught Mushok’s guitar pic. My only two complaints are that the vocal mics could have been a tiny bit louder, and that I didn’t get to be a good fan-girl and get the autographs of the band members. The band Newsted closed with two more songs that rocked the crowd and got everybody in a great mood! As the show started to end, fans left feeling very happy about the music that was played in an effort to bring Metal back to the music world, and with that night as any indication; it will come back with a vengeance!!

-Tatteybye.

*All photos and videos credited to me, names were not used.