Saturday, April 30, 2005


I had the scare of my life tonight. Not at the doctor or driving south on I-85 through downtown. At, of all places, Six Flags. That *%$&ing Acrophobia thing literally scared the air out of me. I made the strangest noise as the thing dropped. It was pretty cool. Many neat times with great people. I hope I never lose that.

As promised, below are the visual elements of the latex story. It seems that Megan J., one of our drum majors and a very cool woman, has this thing for decorating Kish’s office with balloons… over 700 to be exact. When he announced his departure, Megan once again had an excuse. She filled his office to a significant height with balloons.

Kish, never the one to absorb all of the pain for a given situation, chose to “share the wealth.” So he and several others opened his door and shoved the balloons into my office, as seen in example 4.30a

Example 4.30a

Wishing not to be the last to suffer this harsh injustice (and not to be the one who had to dispose of all of the bladders), I had to do something. So, Trey and Chris began helping me transport these balloons into FDR’s office. As his office is of significantly lower volume than mine, we were soon presented with the problem of balloons falling out of the door as we loaded more into the room.

Trey and Chris naturally solved the problem quickly: load the balloons through the ceiling. Into the vestibule came the tallest band ladder. Chris, who obviously has a background in facilities maintenance, removed a single ceiling tile each from the office and the vestibule. I climbed the ladder, and was handed a giganticous garbage bag full of balloons that had been retrieved from my office. I carefully held close the edges of the open end of the bag and forced the closed end through the hole in the ceiling. Then I moved the bag over the hole in the office ceiling and released the balloons into his office. I continued receiving and emptying bags until my accomplices were forced to attend class. Then I continued by myself. The result can be found in the photo shot from the ladder in example 4.30b. Please note that this picture is in focus and was shot with a steady hand. If is does not appear this way to you, you must still be drunk.

Example 4.30b

Unfortunately, FDR returned from lunch early to find me ladder-bound with a guilty look on my face and holding a bag through the whole in the ceiling. When he opened the door, the result was as found in example 4.30c, accompanied by his gracious pose. Please note that you are no longer intoxicated.

Example 4.30c

All in a day’s work.

A very dear friend informed me today that her mother can burp the alphabet. When I asked how she learned to do that, she said that her original training was in speech pathology and that this was a necessary skill for that field. I am considering a career change.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Gimp Golf

So I completely missed the fact that the Today show was being broadcast from Nashville this morning. That’s good… I probably would have cursed, and thrown something through my TV set. By the way, how about a shout out to Schmingular which waited until 11:32 am to deliver ln’s text message to the effect that the show was in Nash-vegas. Saaaaallluuute!

You would think a guy named Daly would be eager to play golf at 9:10 in the morning. Turns out, not so!

By the way, there is no condiment show. That was a little joke.

I made my way home after “work” today, and the Gunner called wanting to kill time. I said ok, then I proceeded to fall asleep for approximately 70 seconds. A knock, which was unmistakably Marine, interrupted me. We went to dinner at the cool new Italian place, which is where Rocky’s used to be, then ran into a friend at Broad St. Grill.

I stubbed my big toe on the sidewalk today. I would have preferred to have injured myself tripping over a grizzly bear that I had just slayed with my own hands, or to have been toppled by a Mack truck that was disabled by making too wide a turn into my ’95 Ford Explorer, but no. I became injured by walking into an inanimate object that has pretty much remained unchanged since, oh, 1995? My bad.

I look like an elderly man when I walk. The girls all love this. The tee box on 15 at UGA, however, does not.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sheauw Too

The explanation of latex will have to wait until I can get the pictures to make the words worth reading.

On Tuesday, a serious discussion of band numbers for next fall took a pleasant tangent into a semi-serious discussion of possible alternatives to the potentially lame Show 2 idea (currently: “A Tribute to Condiments”). iTunes is a boon for this sort of banter, but its ease of use soon resulted in a completely non-serious foray into a discussion which might be titled “Oooh, that was a great tune.” Regard for a piece’s idiomatic appropriateness was shortly replaced with public praise of nearly every work, coupled with private reminiscing about the era, venue, and second party to each individual’s first time making out with that particular song in the background. I even heard someone say (and I swear to all that is holy that this is true), “What about Foghat?” Ah, academia (*sighs, then abruptly coughs, realizing that he shouldn’t be sighing… who sighs anymore?… that is so March*). Many wonderful ideas were brought forth, and I greatly look forward to our discussion and subsequent dismissal of each.

My thumbnails have been growing very rapidly lately. I fear that this is a sign of a much deeper problem.

I had Drury Doody this morning, and am a little disheartened by some of the activism among the members. I can’t discuss details, but this morning we did something that resulted in a right, but we went about it in a way that I feel was very wrong. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da.

Then, after that, I had… yes, a dentist’s appointment. What a way to end the week…. Wait. Sunuva!!! (editor’s note: I just banged my head against the keyboard but kept hitting the space bar. This is unimpressive, so I have removed the result).

I then proceeded to a local high school to instructify and adjudimacate the youth of America… er, more accurately the northern half of Barrow County. While there, I learned that Mr. Band Director Guy did not know Trina’s true identity. He made me quite uncomfortable when he tried to hold me after I explained to him what a hermaphrodite was. I have health insurance for 11 more weeks, and I believe mental health is included.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Today, I started feeling like I am retired. This can be dangerous, as there are lots of things I would like to do more of that most retired people don't do anymore.

I went in late today (that means after noon). Most of the work I am doing now is maintenance work. It is a little sad not being involved in a lot of the planning for the future, but it is how it is - probably for the best. So I went in and maintained a lot of stuff. Around 5:15, I was checking to see when I could get a Saturday tee-time for Russ, Gunner, me, and fourth to be named later. I decided it would be a good idea to hit a few golf balls around in advance of my first outing of the year.

About that time, my good friend and golfing buddy Amos walked in. We were out the door in two minutes.

I hit lots of balls and a number of them went straight. That's a good thing. After dropping him back off, I became mesmerized by the E True Hollywood Story about "Cheers." I just knew that Shelly Long had an attitude. Never did like her anyway.

I think I am going to sleep and dream about golf and not being retired. Wannamockafeefee.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Southbound and Down

Friday evening, Candy, Dusty, and Christy Jayne S. piled in the Roland-mobile. We headed for the megalopolis known to many as “The City” – Waycross, Georgia. The mission was to spread the Gospel of Marching Band to the youth of Greater Southeast Georgia in a one-day clinic.

The storm system, which had greeted Atlanta and environs in the afternoon, kept us company all the way down. After a primer on the difference between Macon Highway and Old Macon Highway, we experienced many laughs and only one wrong turn on the way. We were housed at my 24th favorite hotel chain.

The next morning, I had a few minutes to spare and had a great biscuit from Jerry J’s. Mmmm. Off we went to Memorial Stadium for our day of instruction. It was empty as we pulled up, in contrast to my previous engagement at this venue. Being there was a bit spooky.

I began the day with four students, all of whom would be learning the fundamentals of being a drum major. Teaching drum majors away from Athens is always interesting, as you have to be careful not to completely destroy the style they learned at home – they learned that style there for a reason. It can be very difficult to make things work within that context, and this day was no exception.

That afternoon, I met with the majors and several auxiliary members (and one percussionist) for a discussion of leadership issues. I usually find this to be a waste of time, because it seems like there is little to be said that hasn’t been already. I always try to find a way to inject something new into the activities, and I make it a point to remember that many of these people are half (wow) my age and may never have heard many of the things I have. This group of kids was particularly receptive, however, after one young lady asked a question that would seemed to have been impossible to answer.

She presented a seemingly fatal failure of leadership to which she had been subjected as a rank-and-file member of an ensemble. As I thought of what to say, I realized that I could not “solve” her problem. It was then that I realized that the solution she sought was not to her problem, but rather to her limited field of perception. I took a chance at an answer that might have been controversial. I reminded her that she was one person in a band of about 250, in a town of several dozen-thousand, in a county that is one of 159 in the state, in a state that is one of 50 in a country that is one of 192 recognized by the UN. Of course these countries are on a planet that is one of 9 (or so) in the solar system, which is one of thousands of solar systems in our galaxy, which is one galaxy of mbtrgazillions in the universe. By simply asking her if she felt like she still had a problem, her solutions became obvious. It doesn’t matter.

Sometimes, I need a dose of my own medicine.

Long drive home, but very nice. Quality time with Trina last night.

Fired up the grill for Sarah’s birthday cook-out and I had a really nice time with her and her friends, along with learning a new game. For the record, Dan C. might be the funniest person on the face of the earth, and I hope he knows how much he makes people smile.

Nap. K-bob (by the way, the Lumpkin Street store is closing… many good memories and one really bad one there). Hangin’ with the Gunner, and K-rashing.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


What an amazing day.

I spent the early (for me) part of the day hanging out with an expert on Logic. Steve brought him in and anyone who wanted to got to pick his brain about the application (which FYI is very powerful, but terribly complex and causing a lot of us some headaches).

Trey called us both to the band room at a little past 2:00. I walked down, and as I entered the band room, I found about 150 people standing there - obviously waiting. It was a little under half of the marching band, and as I walked in, they all started clapping... like more than a little bit. This has always been awkward for me because I don't know what to do or say - just like on Tuesday. But I knew it meant "Good job" and "thanks." And I was flattered, stunned, and very humbled.

When they were finished, I noticed Professor Crowell standing in front of an arc of guys. They were Redcoat members of the Men's Glee Club who began singing the Georgia Medley, one of my alltime favorite things to listen to (it is performed at most Glee Club Concerts, and my first time witnessing this is one of my earliest Georgia memories). I have certainly never had it sang to me, and it is one of the neatest things I have experienced (Damn, that's like four of those memories in one week).

So I said a couple of words, and then encouraged everyone to eat the cake that was prepared on the tables to my left. "No," they said, "you have to look at the cakes first." I obliged and went to look. One had the shadow arch, and the other had my picture from the front page of The Red and Black from 1995... you know the one, where I'm smashing pumpkins and all. Somehow, they got that in icing. I'm a pretty simple person, so I don't know how they did it, but they did.

Having seen this, I then encouraged everyone to eat. Yet again, they wouldn't let me as they had something else to show me. This was amazing.

Ikumi, a mellophone player and wonderful woman in the band, had drawn an incredible picture of her band uniform laying on her dorm room chair after a ball game. On a gigantic white matte around the picture, the band had written individual messages to me in red and black pen. They were perfect, and just exactly the things you would hope to have someone say to you when you've kinda invested a whole lot in something without a whole lot of guarantee for compensation.

The picture brings me to tears when I think about it (*chokes*). It's almost like it was the picture of being finished with something, as in a game day, but that you had that reminder of what you did that day still sitting on your furniture... and perhaps it reminds you that you're never really finished. The messages are beautiful up close, and when viewed far away seem to form a quilt in red and black.

At this point, I told them to eat since I couldn't speak any more.

For the next two hours, I got to sit and simply spend time with many of the people I love with no pressure, nowhere to be, no impending performance or obligation that caused our being together... we just sat, took pictures, and spent time enjoying each other's company.

That's the best thing I've gotten in a long time. I have never felt this blessed before. Ever.

Another good 'un

Had a great time with Amos, Sue-anna, and the Gunner last night. We more or less revelled in the great job that the band did. I'm still pretty overwhelmed.

Woke up at 7:30 this morning to nothing. Power was out. My brain began mentally replaying my first-of-the-month bill-paying session (not my favorite ocassion), certain that I somehow overlooked my power bill. I rose from my bed, wearing my normal bedtime wear, and checked the front door handle to make sure I didn't have a service termination notice.


In fact, no one's lights were on. So I went back to sleep. Got a couple of good wake up calls from Trina (No, she did not nudge me) and got up again. Still powerless, in more ways than one, I thought of how to handle my various needs, namely: the need to bathe, the need to shave, the need to have un-wrinkled clothes for my appearance at jury duty.

One outta three ain't bad.

There was enough warm water for me to take a shower. For the record, I would rather smell like fermented onion farts than have a cold shower invert certain parts of my anatomy. But I managed. As my Coleman camp lantern was at my parents' house, I could not see to shave, and did not attempt to. My clothes drawer is not so much a "drawer" as a "pile," and thus I had no "ironed" clothes. I made do, but it was less than perfect.

Off to Grant Drury Doody. Short day there.

School. Wind Ensemble. Email. Home for a nap that lasted 90 minutes too long. Rushed to the hall in time for part one.

Yet another great night. Wind Ensemble played their butts off on the two pieces I had something to do with, and everything for that matter. Neat time. Cub and I used that gift certificate. I then returned to my abode for my nightly dose of Intertainment. Even now, I'm having enjoyable conversations with a really great new friend or two (or one).

I'm really enjoying myself these days.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A day that gets its own page in the scrapbook

There are not a lot of moments in my life that I recall distinctly. Even fewer are the profoundly musical moments that I recall distinctly:

- I remember hearing Ray Stevens' "The Shriner's Convention" for the first time when I was about 4.
- I remember waiting for one of my parents at Metrocenter in the back of my Dad's baby blue 1978 Buick Century when "After the Love Has Gone" came on Q-92 in 1979 or so.
- I remember hearing the results of my junior high band director's programming the "Theme from Pink Panther" into his then-advanced Roland keyboard. I heard sounds that I didn't recognize but loved, and would later come to know by name (I won't bore you, if that's still possible).
- I remember my solo in "Misty" in 9th grade Jazz Band.
- I remember the day my high school marching band took the field at the then-fledgling Brookwood competition after the drumline had been excused for theft.
- I remember "God Bless the Child" at the end of what I thought would be my last halftime at Georgia.
- I remember the end of the first pregame and halftime as a GA, and running to Dwight and saying "I could do this forever!"
- I remember the 20 minutes after the first time we ever did Battle Hymn at pregame with the video and everything. The staff cried the whole time.
- I remember the end of "Short Ride" with the WInd Symphony in January 2001.
- I remember That Moment in "America the Beautiful" at the first halftime after 9/11, and the way everything lined up and 87,000 people lost their britches (and I remind myself of that one frequently).

And from now on, I will remember tonight. I could describe it, but I wouldn't do it justice. I chose my favorite music. I had 75% of the program to myself. I had a band that was more graceful and capable than I could ever have imagined. I had an audience that was particularly gracious with their applause... several trusted friends in the audience... the ability to act without consequence... and what I can most accurately describe as affection, trust, love, enthusiasm, or some other abstract concept that I may never experience again.

I took tons of pictures in my head. I will hopefully have a CD tomorrow, and maybe a video tape. Or not. Doesn't matter.

I took copious notes, and finally, finally decided to appreciate exactly where I was exactly when I was. And if that is as good as it gets, then so be it. I don't think it is, but I'll take it.

I will, by God, take it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Your love is like a rollercoaster baby, baby

Ok. A friend sent me this. I'm laughing so hard I'm about to.... well, just check it out.

First here is the rollercoaster. It's 420 feet high, which is like really tall.
The coaster

The next picture you will see is the result.

The result
Why would you even get on the thing?

Glad I wasn't riding behind her.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Oh, and...

here's another brilliant idea.

At least I had the weekend

This weekend has been great, and there are still 8 hours of it left.

Neat gig with Tim and Leigh on Friday. I got to sing an old favorite for a lot of people, eveningdream about some pretty cool auction items (of which Tim and Leigh won a very cool one), and see how the other half lives. After the gig, Tim and I stopped by the Idiot to say hi. I ran into some old friends, and ten minutes turned into an hour.

Saturday, I did a last-minute scoring project for a local church. The music minister asked me what I would charge for the work when he brought it to me, and I was feeling particularly easy-going. I told him just to get me a gift certificate for dinner somewhere. When I met him yesterday to give him the materials, he gave me the gift. The church was quite generous with the meal amount, so some lucky person will be having dinner with me at a very cool Athens eating establishment. Be nice to me.

Saturday night, the Classic City Grilling Project met once again with much success. In attendance were the Gunner, the Chief, the Diva, the Secretary, and the Secretary's couch-envious significant other. Trina beat me in football in a VERY close game.

Today is writing and cleaning and maybe coffee or food with a friend or two.

I'm writing a tune right now, and I don't want to give the hook away until I'm finished. But the idea is one that seems to apply to me right now: When I'm twice as old as I am right now, I bet I will wish that I hadn't sat around thinking about what things might be like when I am twice as old as I am now.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


I am in dire need of something I once had against my will.

Nope not what you’re thinking, I’ve never had that against my will, and I’ve never had it in the way in which your perverted mind is suggesting. I’m talking about a bedtime. Now I will admit that one of the “Top 10 Phrases Brett Hates” is the following or any variation thereof: “It’s past my bedtime.” But I need one.

One of my most distinct memories of my childhood was from, oh I don’t know, about 6 years old or so. I had fought a losing (as usual) battle with my mom about when I was going to bed. So there I lay, staring at the ceiling, huffing (no, not from a can) and puffing about every twenty seconds so as to make my dissatisfaction perfectly clear to the exactly zero people who were listening to me.

Then something came over me – this feeling that said, “Not only are you invincible, you are also stealthy.” This is particularly interesting, considering the fact that the word “stealth” and its closely-related adjectives, adverbs, and Chrysler vehicle names would not become a part of the common American vernacular for another six years or so. Nevertheless, I thought it and you can’t prove otherwise.

I was particularly curious to learn “the Secret,” which I and every other six-year old kid in the greater Mid-South area new that our parents were keeping from us. “The Secret” was the subject matter of all of the television programs that aired on all three channels (PBS didn’t count) after 9:00 PM central. It was obviously “the Secret” that managed to continue suppressing us six-year-olds into the lower caste of society. I wanted to learn this secret… not just for the sake of knowing, but to help my 6YO brothers and sisters break the shackles of this wrongful tyranny and breathe the air of freedom that had so long been but a dream.

Not really. I just wanted to know what was on TV after 9:00.

It was in this pursuit that I once ventured out of the room after bedtime. As my brother snored loudly and the televised laughter of the bourgeoisie wafted down the hall from the den, I quietly peeled the covers from my airplane pajamas. I placed my left big toe on the three-quarter-inch high shag carpet, and slowly rolled the rest of my foot onto the ground. I was facing the ceiling and wall to my left, balancing myself against the bed with my right arm as I slowly rolled my right leg out of the bed and gradually righted myself in the darkness.

I crouched and gently lowered myself onto all fours. With a painstakingly deliberate cadence, I advanced left hand, left knee, right hand, then right knee with the corners of my face stretched back as though it made my crawling tippy-toe experiment somewhat quieter. Before rounding the corner where the light from a distant fixture entered the room by the side of the dresser, I stretched my neck out to scout the hall for unwanted eyes. Then my advance continued - one hand, one knee at a time.

As I neared my destination, my head could sense the waiting danger as the sound of laughter from the television began sounding less like that of a faraway room and more like that of a room in which I was present. A voice I would later recognize as Johnny Carson was apparently talking to his doctor, and everyone, including my folks, thought it was funny. My dad, who never laughed, laughed. So did Mom, but only after Dad did.

I continued listening to this man talk, and continued to be perplexed. I stared at the wall as though I was asking it a question, then realized that there was no secret – at least no secret to me. It was, in fact, the adults on whom the joke was being played. They were the ones who were laughing at something that wasn’t funny. I could relax in the knowledge that I obviously was more intellectually advanced than the grown-upper class. Less impressively, I could return to my bed with the satisfaction of a job well done.

As my upper teeth gently bit my lower lip (this was well known to have reduced the noise resulting from carpet-to-footy-pajama friction), I began to retreat to my room in reverse. About five feet down the hall, I began to realize that I was obviously superior to my parents. After all, I had managed to foil the bedtime conspiracy and prove its impotence all in one night. As it occurred to me how stupid my parents were and how obviously gifted I was, I spontaneously laughed through my closed lips and created a significant disturbance. My eyes grew more round as I realized what I had done and began to fear the wrath of an angry, and somewhat un-entertained, parent.

I knew to run, but I was frozen. This remained unchanged for the five seconds it took for my four feet, eleven inches-tall mother to arrive towering over me.

I looked up as though I might have some glimmer of an excuse for why I was crawling down the hall, then I made a run (er, crawl) for it, sure I could escape punishment simply by beating her to my room. She didn’t punish me, as she was certain that, at six, my aims could have been little more than mischievous.

Lucky for her, she didn’t know how much I knew.

I really should get some sleep.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


So Monday morning, I finally answered the call of my government and stepped up to the plate. Yes, I was summoned and I arrived to serve...

jury duty.

And I didn't even have a reasonable excuse. It doesn't conflict with my class schedule (crap), it won't interfere with my moving (drat), and frankly doesn't cause me a hardship in any way (sonofabitch). What's more, this isn't just any jury duty. The jury on which I have been selected to serve would be pronounced as follows by a drunk: "Grant Drury." I'm actually looking forward to it - once a week for three hours. I will not keep you updated, as that would be illegal.

The only cute girl in the pool was excused, so I am left to spend the next 16 weeks with a bunch of average-looking middle-aged people... just like me. Interesting though - one lady in the pool described her occupation as "crossing guard." Trina, let me know if a fellow student misses one of her classes due to "a legal matter."

In other news, there is none. Not unless you talk to me. Sorry Will, I'll call you back.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

More thoughts on the weekend

I am going to be more careful in the future about telling the whole story. "Why, Brett," you might ask. That is an excellent question.

I have noticed that the more I blog, the less I actually talk to you. Perhaps if I pique your interest enough, you will want to know more. Then we can have an actual conversation, or an IM conversation, which by the way is still way inferior to a real conversation if both parties are reasonably intelligent and engaging. So, don't get disappointed if I seem distant. That's not the point, [insert your screen name or blogger ID].

In reflecting more on my trek northwest this weekend, I think I am realizing its value. I didn't strike any deals, or meet any co-writers that I expect a long-term professional relationship with. Yeah I had a small victory or two, but nothing earth-shattering.

The value is in seeing things actually work. The path to getting to the professional point where I want to be is clearer than it has been before. It no longer feels like I am shooting into the dark... I actually have an agenda for the day my feet hit the ground.

I also heard the unlikeliest of success stories straight from the writer. There is a young guy who lives in Cleveland, Ohio who has this incredible story about how he got his staff deal. The long version of it is that he lived in Odessa, Texas, wrote three songs then moved to town (which is what people in the business call "stupid"). He gets married, and his wife is transferred to Rochester. He goes with her and quits writing.

For those of you who have been around when I don't write for some time, you can imagine what this did for the relationship. His wife signed him up for a camp in Nashville. It got him fired up again, and he wrote more. They moved to Cleveland, enabling him to make driving trips to Nashville. After a while, he became disillusioned again and quit. When his crabbiness point reached the threshold of considering marriage counseling, she signed him up for last year's edition of the same event that was held this past weekend.

He went reluctantly to the event, and in more unlikely circumstances wound up having his music being evaluated by a major publisher.

You will not believe what happened next.

Back for now

Had a good most-of-weekend in Nashvegas. I had a nice chance to catch up with old friends, learn some things, look at apartments, and get excited (again) about what I want to do.

I came back early because I could. I was literally standing in my house before I would have been standing at the post-fest party beginning to get drunk in front of my (other) colleaugues at the next available event. That didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I've got a little self-vision changing, and that's good.

I was sitting in a seminar this morning. I looked across the venue and saw a woman who looked profoundly like a woman who has come to mean something to me of late, and for a moment I felt completely secure... for a moment.

I am comfortable there. I am still more comfortable here and would like to keep it that way until I am not here anymore, if that is possible.

If you're not interested in what's fresh and good on country radio, "see ya' tomorrow." If you are, here are a few things I heard in town and think might be worth your download dollar. Please pay for it.

Rascal Flatts - "Fast Cars and Freedom" - Just cool, and what I have hoped the town would sound like, and now does.

Trace Adkins - "Arlington" - I haven't heard this yet. I've read the lyrics and know it is cool. I also know how many people in town, whose best interest this song's release did not serve, pulled for this tune. That makes me feel better about being involved the move.

Alan Jackson - "The Talkin' Repair Blues" - Reminds me of me, talking about me.

Bobby Pinson - "Don't Ask Me How I Know" - Just listen to it.

That is all. Things are looking up in some areas, and downright rotten in others. I'm sure they are for most.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Blogger sucks. I attempted to post this yesterday and it didn't take. I am writing from Nashville ("The City By the Bay") at a songwriter's event. See if you can hear a twang in my writing from there.

So my good friend Brad comes by the house Thursday night. We usually philososophize like Gunner and me, or Trina and me. The more philosphocalistic we got, the more I kept referring to people's blogs. He finally broke down and said, "Show me." This is a pretty big deal considering that his best friend is his dog Chubs, he generally opposes crowds of over three, or anything resembling a new idea.

So Brad has now decided to join the rest of us, and his first blog, along with pictures of him and Chubs can be viewed here. Go see what he has to say - it's certain to piss you off... if not now, then in the very near future.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Not sure this is a good idea...

but I'm going to do it anyway, because it would be neat to see the people I care about. If you haven't already heard, a couple of my dear friends are throwing a bit of a thing for my departure. I'm not sure it is couth to tell you myself, but it's my blog so shut it.

So if you're interested, you can go here for the blunt announcement or here for the eloquent one... and don't hit too hard - I bruise easily.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Act II

The tension builds in the film as a tiff escalates into a heated argument, which then escalates into a knock-down drag-out slaughter. Lights flicker as their containers sway from side to side from the impact of carelessly raised angry arms. Scattered treasured belongings can be seen strewn about the floor, as though the meaning attached to them was either absent or proven invalid. Children are herded out of the room by a distant relative whose hands cover their eyes and ears as best she can, hoping to protect them from some portion of the horror that accompanies the quarrel. They will remember something, but hopefully not everything.

As the furor continues and the children scream from the back bedroom begging the combatants to stop fighting, the camera sweeps swiftly from one party to the other. Insults are spat - the candleholder given him by his great-grandmother is hurled from the coffee table into the mirror they bought when he was stationed in Stuttgart during Vietnam. Her voice rises to a terrifically high pitch as his fist busts through the curio that he so respected, and for a brief moment didn’t.

She tells him that she never really meant the things she whispered into his ear when they were young and stupid. He retorts with an equally useless insult, stands staring with a blank expression - with the emptiest look of stupor she has ever seen in him. He collapses onto the love seat. Her eyes become red from the sudden torrent of tears, and the screen slowly blackens as she gasps for breath between every fifth sob or so.

After a silence of ten seconds, the sound of windshield wipers vainly sweeping the rain from the front window of a ten-year old truck slowly crescendos from the black. A conversation, timid but real, joins the patter of rain against the roof. The male from the altercation drives, and tells old meaningless stories about his new hometown to an unknown passenger. He is two years older than he was, and perhaps two years wiser, now realizing that the squabble from his past was but a blemish. But he is underway in his new world, and plods barely above the speed limit through the thunderstorm – just careful enough to avoid the hydroplane traps that await him. He has learned with age and experience.

What a different world from the blow-up of two years ago. Those old memories flash through his eyes from time to time. He remembers the addictive giggle from a woman whose face he can clearly remember only by consulting old pictures. He can almost taste the genius in the occasional meal she would thoughtfully construct for him. He remembers the burnt hues of a deceptively complex decorative scheme in her house and the smell of love and puppy that always greeted his nose when he went by to say hello and pass time or exchange the light-hearted minutiae of a day spent alone. He remembers the fights, but also the ecstasy of being completely understood and appreciated… and frankly misses those days. He’s glad he is where he is, but there is a thing or two he would change if he could. If only he could.