Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Consulting The Popcorn Ceiling

the state of being lost in thought is called "reverie".

while it is true my career has produced extraordinary moments and fortunate events, it is equally true to say I've spent a great deal of time in reverie induced by the popcorn ceiling. in fact, I consider myself a student of the popcorn ceiling.

what is the popcorn ceiling?

in most hotels around the world and especially here in the United States builders use a technique for covering the ceiling by means of a spray which causes a bumpy erratic texture known as "popcorn" which is nearly always a creamy white in color and actually looks more like small curd cottage cheese than popcorn. why it isn't called the small curd cottage cheese ceiling is self-evident.

very often while on tour I find a small segment of my day, usually half an hour, with nothing to do. more correctly not enough time to do really anything. it's at this junction of my day I lay down on my fresh hotel bed, or more correctly a bed which smells "fresh" but is in fact saturated in microbes from perhaps a thousand other human beings. anyway, at this point 9 times out of 10 I'm staring at the popcorn ceiling. I conservatively estimate if I were somehow magically given back the time I've spent engaged in the study of the popcorn ceiling I would live a year and a half longer.

before showtime I strongly dislike being at the venue any longer than I have to be to do a proper sound check. I don't mind staying around after the show for as long as needed but between the sound check and the show I want to be anywhere but the venue. ideally consulting the popcorn ceiling. it helps clear my mind for the performance.

my dream concert would go like this: I would have a half an hour consultation with the popcorn ceiling, then take a quick shower, dry my hair (or should I say "hairs") get dressed, and walk straight onto the stage to launch into the show.

over 30 years, millions of miles, and countless hotel rooms I've grown to appreciate my time with the popcorn ceiling.

the cogitation produced by it can be curious:
"shouldn't it be called No Labor Day?"

or thought-provoking:
"if fish could scream, would I still eat them?"

"gee, I wish they wouldn't play that stupid patriotic rock music during the fireworks. it ruins the whole experience. I love the sound of the rocket coming out of the shoot, the crisp crackling of the artifacts, the whistling spiraling ones: why does that pleasure have to be diluted with a simulcast of John Mellencamp bleating 'This is our country'. is it a truck commercial or a fourth of july celebration?"

"the bible says adam and eve were the first human beings in the world and eve gave birth to two sons, cain and abel: so where did the rest of us come from?"

or deeply philosophical:
"if you can't have your cake and eat it too, what's the point of having cake?"

there are some issues I may never solve:
"how DO they get those little m's on the m&m's without cracking the ever-so-thin candy shell?"

still, I often return to my most profound reflection:

"why Cleveland?"


  1. Have you written an "Ode to the Popcorn Ceiling" song yet?

  2. perhaps there is a niche market for a mobile popcorn ceiling unit.

    have you ever considered performing in the prone position beneath a piece of the stuff?

    Is the hotel bed an integral part of the popcorn ceiling experience, or would any popcorn ceiling do?

    3D Virtual Popcorn Ceiling goggles?

  3. Facinating !!
    I thought I was the only one who sees the patterns and wisdom of the Sprayed on Celing !!
    I know what you are talking about and I Love It !!!
    Your a Trip Mr. Man !!
    Thanks ....
    Travis ~~~

  4. Why Cleveland? Again, Alan Freed. http://www.fiftiesweb.com/freed.htm

  5. I hear ya, Adrian. I really need some "popcorn ceiling" time before gigs too. It seems that a million things always seem to come up around soundcheck time... which usually makes me anxious. Then band memnbers want to go for supper, and we end up spending more time on the logisitcs of that than preparing for the gig itself. I need a clear head to perform well. It definitely takes some mental discipline to get into the performance "zone".


  6. Why Cleveland? Here's why:


  7. Here are a few other things to consider, while you're at it:

    1. Did Adam have a navel? If so, why?

    2. Do Roman paramedics refer to IVs as "fours?"

    3. When an American says something irrelevant, we ask him "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" Well, what do the Chinese ask?

    Just curious ...


  8. "Why Cleveland?" is not a question with an answer. It is a reflection on the unknown processes within another person. "Why Cleveland?" is the answer.

    Best Regards,


  9. I hope don't disturb you with this once again, I need to show you the pre-release of my album ETERNA LUZ, i need to know if you want thaT I send you the whole piece (is too large maybe 68 minutes), I can't put the whole piece in a public site, if you want that I send you the whole piece give me an email adress, or some way to send you a private message. If you don't want, please tell me and I will stop putting links on your site.
    I admire too much, I really need your support, nobody here trust in this kind of music and I spend the last 6 years of my life makeing this album by my self. I don't have money but I have too much music to public, I need to pay an professional record with real musicians (I make this music with virtual instruments -drums, v drums, bass and keyboards) and I recorded the guitar (I'm not a guitar player so it sounds so bad)
    and my wife sings the lyrics.
    I'm not asking for money, Just I want that you help me recording this music with real musicians and sell it around the world, I know there will be people tha will like this music in other countries.
    Click here to hear 3 parts of my piece
    I repeat, If you are not interested just tell me I will understand, but please don't ignore me.

    Have nice weekend.

  10. I like looking for patterns in the ceiling too I've done that since I was young child. It is quite relaxing and frees up the mind.

    In Genesis 5:4 we read a statement that sums up the life of Adam and Eve: “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.”

    During their lives, Adam and Eve had a number of male and female children. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus wrote, “The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters.”

    Scripture doesn’t tell us how many children were born to Adam and Eve, but considering their long life spans (Adam lived for 930 years—Genesis 5:5), it would seem logical to suggest there were many. Remember, they were commanded to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

    There was no one else human to marry. They were the only humans. Also, there was no law against marrying a close relative until years later after the flood. Noah and his descendants were only 8 the rest were wiped away. Later Abraham married his half-sister.

    Not until Moses did there come a rule about not being allowed to marry a close relative - this is hundreds and hundred of years after Adam and Eve.

  11. I stay in a lot of hotels, too, Adrian. (I sell software to hotels and I visit or stay in a hotel practically every week of the year ... currently, I'm at Grand Teton Lodge in Jackson Hole, WY looking at some gorgeous, snow-capped mountains.)

    You're a cool guy, Adrian. I wish I could be your best friend.


  12. While you're at it, would you ask the PC these two things as well:

    1. Why do hot dogs come in packages of eight, and hot dog buns in packages of ten?

    2. The platypus: zoological marvel, or proof that the Almighty has a sense of humor?

    Thank you.


  13. Ade,

    The trick has always been to eat your cake and have it too....not the other way 'round.

    Miss you guys!


  14. miztlahui from mexico:
    I listened to the three pieces you posted. they are very good. I'm sure there is an audience for your music.
    I know you are a frequent contributor to this site so I would never ignore you, but I'm sorry to report there is no way I can help you. I simply cannot take on such things.
    I hope you understand.

  15. Or does cow's udder have four independent milk tanks or just a bigger one for all four teats. Trivial question.