THE REAL JEFF MANN

I fled the ice and snow of upstate NY for sunny Arizona back in 1992 to follow my dreams. I write about rock ‘n’ roll, referee roller derby and enjoy reading, tattoos, movies, music, politics, social media, yoga, & travel.

My debut book “ALL IN: How To Become An Overnight Rock ‘n’ Roll Roadie Success In Just 20 Years” is OUT NOW! All about my 10 years traveling around the world as a roadie for touring rock bands like KISS, Alice Cooper, and Megadeth. Available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also satisfy your thirst for my wit and wisdom with my blog posts about current events, punk rock, politics & views on the world around us. From my own warped perspective, of course!



Buy the book and get more information at http://therealjeffmann.com/

FAVORITE BOOK: Changes frequently. Right now it’s A Confederacy Of Dunces.
And everything by Henry Rollins.
FAVORITE MUSIC: Bad Religion, Bad Brains, Badfinger, Badlands, pretty much
anything with the word “bad” in it.
FAVORITE FOOD: Anything from the
Bake & Destroy cook book.
FAVORITE WEB SITE: Twitter
WHERE I WANT TO VISIT: Phuket, Thailand;
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam;
Clevelend, Ohio;
Portland, Oregon.
WHERE I GREW UP: Syracuse, NY.
COMPANIES I’VE WORKED FOR: KISS, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Tucson Roller Derby

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Life Lessons

heart.jpgI have a terrible problem. Well, it’s not such a big problem for me, but mostly for the unfortunates who I come in close contact with. The problem is this: I absolutely love to stick my nose into other people’s business. I’ll come right out and say it - I am an utterly incorrigible solver of other people’s problems. I always have an answer, and I adore giving unsolicited advice. This situation is only exacerbated when the problem in question is the property of someone I love, such as, say, a spouse, or a child I have fathered. In those situations, I rush headlong into the fray, outline the best possible course of action, create an action plan to implement my prescribed course, including next steps and a timeline for future implementation. I then sit back and await grateful compliance.

Naturally, 99% of the time my unwanted advice is actively ignored or more frequently, violently...

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Can The World Go On Without Me?

reaper tattoo.jpgI heard something last night that really got me thinking. A friend of mine sat next to an amazing woman on a recent plane trip. They started chatting and my friend found out this woman was dying of cancer. The dying woman was so full of courage, and facing her impending death so well that she even scheduled for birthday cards and birthday messages to be delivered to her loved ones after she died. Apparently, she arranged with friends to deliver these cards and messages at the appropriate times after her passing or something. I didn’t get all the details. I expect that filling out those cards as she was facing her own death was a powerful experience, and equally moving for the recipients. For the dying woman I think this was probably a great way to come to terms with her death, and express her feelings for her loved ones.

Then I started thinking about this from the other end, from the...

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Loud Love

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I’m loud.

I talk loud, I play music loud, I referee roller derby loud. My volume knob is on ten most of the time. I play the drums. I pretty much just live life loudly. I like to do a lot of stuff, I have a million hobbies and projects going on at all times, I like to travel and have adventures. My favorite Soundgarden album is “Louder Than Love”… Do you see a pattern anywhere?

Volume is effective when being heard is important, as in the aforementioned roller derby referee scenario. But loud can also be misinterpreted in a number of unfavorable ways. Loud can look an awful lot like angry, for instance. Once I traveled up to Phoenix to referee a roller derby scrimmage for their junior league, the skaters were all younger players, between 10 and 16. Now, when I call a penalty, you know it. Because loud. Apparently, my volume level shook up a few of the kids because after a few minutes...

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It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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I shaved in the car the other day. I’ve seen people do it in the movies all the time. You know what I’m talking about. The tough-as-nails rogue detective running an electric razor over his 5 o'clock shadow as he drives to a meeting with the Commissioner where he’ll surely get chewed out. The harried job applicant running late and frantically shaving as they speed to the interview. That kinda thing. I was running behind schedule myself and in a flash of inspiration grabbed my electric razor as I dashed to the car. Initially, it seemed to be working great. I wear a short beard, so all I was trying to do was knock back the stubble enough to keep from looking like a homeless person or worse yet, the Gorton’s fisherman. For those of you too young to remember who the fuck the Gorton’s fisherman was I’ve kindly put his picture at the top of this blog post. Good looking dude, but that beard!

...

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Freedom of speech is not a zero-sum game.

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I recently took a road trip to referee a roller derby event that took place on Veterans Day. The host league is located in a city with a large military base, and many of the team’s skaters and fans are active duty and retired military. They had been promoting the event as a salute to veterans, with an honor guard, presentation of colors and a guest singer for the national anthem prior to the start of the game.

Several skaters from the visiting team chose to take a knee during the singing of the national anthem. This sort of protest is becoming fairly commonplace at sporting events since the outcry over police violence against people of color in America, and even more so following the election of Donald Trump as president. While I didn’t notice it happening at the time, I was not surprised when I heard about it afterward. I myself continue to stand during the national anthem at this...

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Is Donald Trump an embarrassment to the USA?

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I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media railing against Donald Trump and his embarrassing “un-presidential” actions. From tossing rolls of paper towels at Puerto Rican hurricane victims to his bilious rage-tweets attacking Gold-Star parents (and just about everyone else) the unusual actions of the 45th President of the United States have drawn the ire of his many, many opponents.

Is Donald Trump an embarrassment to the United States? To paraphrase another President who drew a lot of heat for his actions in the White House, it depends on what the meaning of the word “embarrassing” is. Trump supporters rallied around the reality TV star and real-estate mogul during his campaign because “he wasn’t politically correct” and “he speaks his mind”. To these people, Donald Trump’s actions since winning the White House are exactly what they wanted. Trump is certainly speaking his mind...

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What hath Kaepernick wrought?

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If Colin Kaepernick wanted to raise awareness of racial injustice in the United States, well, he has certainly done so! In an effort to show support for people of color who are being oppressed in the United States, and to take a stand against police brutality, Kaepernick’s silent protest has gained momentum, with athletes from a variety of sports joining him by taking a knee or refusing to stand for the national anthem as it is played before games.

Needless to say, this issue has been polarizing. Many are outraged by this action, claiming that it disrespects the United States, demeans the Armed Forces, insults veterans and a host of other indignities. I’m not sure if these people understand what these players are really trying to do. These celebrities are using their position to protest injustice. A popular internet meme might say it best: Thinking NFL players are “protesting the flag”...

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Energy Drinks

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When I first got involved in officiating roller derby, I used to drink energy drinks before reffing. Red Bull, Rockstar, and especially Monster Energy drinks. Those were my favorites. I’d have one before the game, and usually one at halftime. My reasoning was that I needed energy for skating and mental clarity and alertness for referee stuff.

Then one day at work I was doing a fairly repetitive task, some sort of data entry or something. It wasn’t very exciting, but it required my full focus. After about a half hour of this, I took a break and went to get an energy drink. After drinking it down I returned to my task, expecting that my energy drink would help my mental focus as advertised on the can.

Well, turns out the opposite was true. I found it much more difficult to perform the data entry successfully. I started making frequent mistakes and had to continually stop and go back to...

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Smart Phone generation has less sex?

no-iphone-kthx.jpegYou’ve all probably heard some of the nicknames out there for different generations… Baby Boomers, Generation X (that’s me), Millennials, etc. Now there is iGen, the generation that has grown up with social media and handheld devices like smartphones as a part of their lives. Apparently, anyone born between 1995 and 2012 falls into Generation iGen.

There was a great article on this age group in the Atlantic that I found to be rather grim. The good news is iGen are safer than previous generations of adolescents. They don’t go out as much, preferring to spend time socializing with friends online via social media or text messages. This has led to a reduction in car accidents for teens. This remote socializing has also led to a drop in teen pregnancies. Only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went on dates; for Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

The “Helicopter Parent”...

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Going Out Strange

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I’m not sure if I am excessively morbid or something, but as I get older I find myself thinking more frequently about how my life will end. At 51 I am certainly closer to the end of my time on this earth than to the start of it. And I realize there are myriad ways to go, some more pleasant than others. I think my death of choice would be to go peacefully in my sleep, surrounded by my loved ones.

Of course, there are a great many less pleasant options; cancer, car crash, blown to bits by a religious extremist, crushed under a falling building, and so on. I’m rooting for the die-in-my-sleep scenario, but you don’t get to pick when it comes to this. Unless you live in Portland, which is totally an option for me.

In any case, given the undeniable reality of my inevitable end, and the myriad ways it can come about, with many (hell, MOST) of them decidedly unpleasant, I am actively trying...

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