Friday, June 29, 2007

Winner of the day for June 28, 2007

This guy.

This guy was complaining before the bus ever left Midway. This guy had an intense conversation with his wife on the phone about some mixture of orange juice and milk that he really needed her to shake well. This guy then called someone else to tell them to check on his wife and make sure she shook that thing. Then this guy called his son's baseball coach to ask if he would be ready to pitch this fall. This guy then called his son to tell him what his baseball coach said. This guy embraced the words shit and f*%k like they were the first and last names of his long lost love. And then, in an instance of further proof that God loves and wants us to be happy, this guy left the bus. I wish he had been accompanied by the flight attendant sitting behind me, who spoke fff and filed her toenails the entire way to Racine.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Brewtown Brett

In 67 minutes I will get in my heterosexual Honda Civic and drive it to Nashville International Airport (Motto: "Y'all come back now, y'hear?"). I will leave that Civic in a parking space in the economy lot (always at bus stop #7 if you need to borrow my wheels), and will then trust my travel to the friendly pilots of Southwest Airlines. They will take me to Chicago's Midway International Airport, where I will leave the rest of the driving to a coach operator for Wisconsin Coach. The coach operator will take me to Milwaukee, Wisconsin ("The Emerald City"), where Scorley will meet me.

On tap for us for the next few days are a brewery tour, some music, some drinking, Cubbies vs. Brewers at Wrigley (He is going to be so pissed when he sees me wearing a Cubs hat), and a lot of catching up. Russ[el]ty will join us for a portion of the weekend as well.

On Sunday, I return to Chicago ("Beantown") where I will work with this group. I return to Nashville on Friday, hopefully to find an apartment that contains the same belongings it will contain when I leave.

Life is funny right now. Some things completely suck (being robbed, hitting every traffic light in greater Nashville, razor burn) and others are amazing (what I get to do for a living, learning to like beer, Athens and its contents).

Monday, June 25, 2007

7:59 A.M. EDT

On the Thursday of my recent beach bummery bumnation bummification relaxation/work, I played a mighty fine round of golf with my dad and brother. Around the ninth hole, I realized that I had left my cell phone at the condominium and wondered to myself whether the absence of its distraction had contributed to my relative success (120 was the score, and yes... to me that is success). I decided that it had and I continued to play as though I hadn't a care in the world, though I was truthfully worried about what awful things might be going on without my knowledge.

When I returned to the condo, I raced to my cell phone in typical me fashion to find that I had missed five phone calls, one of which was from the 615 area code. At this point in my life and career, an unrecognized call from 615 either means something very good or very bad. Voicemail revealed that this was probably not a pleasant ocassion, as my apartment management company called and needed to speak to me the same day.

I already knew why.

When I reached the office, the property manager reported that my apartment had apparently been burglarized overnight. A resident had noticed a hole and broken blinds in a window. The manager and a maintenance worker entered the apartment and said that it appeared that nothing had been taken, though my Kurzweil keyboard was on the floor which she "thought was odd." I asked if there was still a television in the den. "Yes." Was there still a computer in the den? "Yes." It couldn't possibly be that bad if that was the case.

After leaving Myrtle Beach, I headed to Athens for the balance of the weekend. When I arrived in Nashville early this afternoon, I entered my apartment to survey the damage. Here is what I found.

This is the rock that someone threw thru through my window, reportedly somewhere around 4am Thursday morning. That thing that looks like a piano in the background is supposed to sit on that thing that looks like a keyboard stand in the background. The rock on the floor seems to indicate that this was probably not the result of unnoticed activity in the New Madrid Fault.

This was apparently where the rock struck the coffee table that sits in my den. Also, someone who matters is this very second saying, "Know how I know you're gay? Your real couch pattern would strike Charles Nelson Reilly as 'flamboyant.'"

This is what my closet looked like when I arrived home. You don't have to believe me when I say that it didn't look like this when I left, but you should. It was apparent that the intruders were looking for something.

This is what they found... family silver, given to me by my grandmother. I thought surely it was hidden well enough, but it apparently wasn't.

This is my computer desk. There is a monitor, my Jack Daniel's thermometer, my RCB Christmas ornament, my "Go Dawgz" Chick-fil-a cow from the '98 Peach, and my prized "We Are The Champions" photo from '03 Tennessee. But something is missing from that computer desk. If you guessed "computer," you guessed right.

All told, it appears that I have lost my computer, my PS2, and possibly some silver. After two phone calls and a four-hour-and-thirty-minute wait on a stormy Monday afternoon, I still haven't seen the police. I haven't touched a thing in my apartment. I am hungry and ready to unpack and get to work, and I can't.

I wish I could be entirely peachy about this and write it off as "just stuff." I was not conscientious about backing up every single idea I ever had, and so some are lost with the computer. Some demos will have to be re-recorded from scratch, and some lyrics recreated from memory. Some previously written show material that has already been sold but is undelivered will have to be re-written. And most unfortunately, some potential seeds of something great and some moments of someone else's semi-sober whimsy that were secretly captured on disc will simply have to be remembered.

I don't like this. Life was infinitely better at 7:59 this morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pilot - "Sea Change" or "The Morning After"

I am in North Myrtle Beach, SC with my family soaking up a few rays, drinking a few drinks, and doing a lot of work. This is the final week in a month away from my apartment in Nashville that has been far more eventful than I anticipated. If I had known some of what has happened was going to happen, I would have packed much differently.

On Sunday morning, I claimed a spot at the Starbucks at College and Broad (Walker's was closed) and sipped on the usual. Minutes later, Brad pulled up a chair and was followed closely by Kit. It is notable that both of these gentlemen (as many of my friends do) enter a social situation as though it is assumed that they have always been theoretically present in the situation... as though they are actors playing bit parts who have been waiting in the wings in view of all of the other actors in a television show. There is rarely fanfare when either arrives. Each simply sits and joins in the conversation already in progress, though Kit is likely to let you know the seriousness of his hangover and Brad the seriousness of his gas.

Their actor-like entrances only enable one of my more excessively romantic exercises, as I often over-dramatize my life by looking at it like a television series that changes name, tone, night and time on an all too frequent basis. Their entrance on Sunday morning was particularly appropriate for my pensive review of the previous weeks in Athens and their culmination at Saturday night's event. It felt like the wrap-up of the pilot of a one-hour drama.

(At this point, you should play the Wrecker's song "Hard to Love You" starting at the 2:55 mark. Fade it in and continue to read. This is because the music fits, not the words. No better way to end a pilot episode than with a Medium F%#k Tempo shuffle.)

As speculation about the feelings and next moves of people who matter concluded, the weight of those far too brief weeks in Athens applied itself to me. My throat lumped. Scenes that resulted from the ecstatic curves thrown me by Whoever Is Making Decisions presented themselves a page at a time in chronological order. As the latest scenes played, the feeling began to settle that the next thing was now.

The camera slowly began to rise from the three of us as we prepared to move on, and the music became louder. I sat, delaying the moment when I would stand and depart, heading to the sea and a million thoughts about what all of these changes might mean. College square became smaller and smaller, soon put in context of the downtown area at large, then the city, then the continent, then the earth. Finally the screen went black.

Two brief still credits appeared, and the pilot was over. This could be one hell of a show.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I so badly want to write about the events of the last week or so, but I just can't right now. In fact, I really won't even be able to discuss it on Saturday night. It is complicated, beautiful, and painful for many all at once. It is also very much unresolved, and may remain so for quite some time. That's going to have to be enough.

There are hearts on high alert tonight.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A quick breath

The first week of camp has passed, and things are basically good. For the first time ever under the current camp administration, no one was sent home. I think it has less to do with an alleged "smoothness" of the operation, and more to do with a softening of a once rather stern administration. Regardless, the experience so far has itself been more pleasant than most years I remember.

I continue to be nothing short of giddy about being in Athens. When I lived here, I was more conscious than most of the charmed life I was leading. Being away confirms that I was right. A bad day in Athens is still better than a great day at Tech, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The thought of making my part-time home here again at some point in the future constantly remains in the front of my mind. I'm trying very hard to appreciate it while I am here.

An aspect of Athens that is at once refreshing and sad is that the people change. It really is heartbreaking to be here and witness a part of what amounts to the end of an era on the first floor. There are a million things one could say (and I'm sure one will next Saturday), but none will do it justice. I don't know if it really was simpler and more enjoyable ten years ago, but my memory says it was. I miss that very badly. I know I'm not the only one...

And while those you love and care about move on to other things, there are also new people whose paths cross yours. For all of the bitterness about impending departures, there is consolation in the joy of new associations. This has been one of the nicest things about being here.

Probably a very light week of blogging once again this week. I'm under the gun to finish a lot of work and help run a camp at the same time. Life will be busy. But life will also be in Athens. Be jealous.