Monday, May 30, 2011

The Weekend of Debaucery

This weekend I threw a bachelor party for my friend, Andrew in Columbus, Ohio. At some point in the middle of the three days, a comment was made along the lines of: "When it would take too long to tell all the stories, you know it was a good party!" Well, it would take too long to tell all the stories. :)

I'm home, safe and sound, and mostly in one piece. I definitely need a detox before the wedding this coming weekend, but otherwise it was an amazing three days. If you weren't there, unfortunately it's one of those events where the stories need to stay with those involved, but I promise to tell you how the wedding goes.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

The mentality of crowded concert goers

Last night I went to a Manchester Orchestra concert in Columbus, Ohio. The venue was a nice indoor pavilion with a capacity of around three thousand people, and not a bad seat (reading: standing room only) in the house. And while the place was really nice, with a band as good as Manchester Orchestra, it was packed. Venue size withstanding, any time you book a band into an appropriately sized space, you create the phenomenon of the crowded concert goer.

While the three thousand person crowd at the LC Pavilion in Columbus doesn't hold a candle to the hundred thousand plus person crowd Ell and I were in when we saw Pearl Jam at Lollapalooza in 2007, the -- shoulder to shoulder, belly to back, someone's breath on the back of your neck while your breath presses onto the person's neck in front of you -- closeness is exactly the same. And with that closeness comes varied reactions to it.

I'm a big guy. I can own my personal space in a crowd with the best of them. I rarely get jostled, bumped, or pushed, and am good at making the impression I'll tear your limbs off if you even accidentally do any of those things to me. My friend Mike, on the other hand, while a lanky guy with a beard that makes him look like a terrorist-in-training, is way too friendly to inconvenience others by putting on the impression he's a jerk like I'm so adept at accomplishing. And so last night he had not one, not two, not three, (and if you guess four you'd also be wrong,) but five separate drunk women become his best friend. They hugged him, pushed him around, slammed up against him, and generally made themselves a huge nuisance to his existence. While I felt for him, I must say it was rather hilarious.

And then there was the cute little brunette named Allison who stood next to me. Unfortunately for Allison, a drunk girl I can't be sure wasn't also on X, hung on her back, flipped her hair into Allison's, and even rested her head on Allison's shoulder a couple times. During the break between bands, I offered to let Allison stand in front of me so that I could keep drunk X-girl from using her as a human pole dance. She accepted and thanked me with a beautiful smile. (Yeah, I'm that chivalrous.) But as crowds tend to do, people moved and positions shifted, and even though I was able to protect Allison's left side and back, drunk X-girl overtook her right side and more than one time banged her head into Allison's ponytail. Before half the set was over, Allison and her friend had to leave (studying for finals at Ohio State) but before leaving she told the girl off complete with a gesture that told her she was number one. Again, hilarious.

Which brings me to the mentality I titled this post about. Some people are fun. Some people are fans. And some people are simply inconsiderate and rude. They forget that everyone has paid the same price for the same ticket to see the same show, and it is not the right thing to do to deprive everyone around them the opportunity to enjoy that show. They talk through songs, they invade personal space, and they ignore basic human rules of manner and etiquette. It makes me want to scream, or at least consider suggesting they don't serve alcohol. On second thought, I take that one back. I just wish the concert-going-population would learn how to not all be a$$holes.

All that said, I am fully aware my desire for peace and love and mutual respect is not going to be found (as a general rule) in those kind of crowds. And so the reality of going to concerts and being a concert goer is that you need to be ready to take anything that's thrown (sometimes, literally) at you. It can suck or it can be awesome. The experience is yours so make it what you want, even if that means poking an elbow into a rib once or twice. Do it hard enough, and I guarantee that person won't crowd you. Either that, or they'll punch you in the throat.

But seriously, going to a concert means accepting the crowd you're going to experience, and know that seeing the band you like may mean dealing with some idiots in the process. If that's more than you think you can handle, you don't have the mind of a concert goer.

And for those wondering...... I got Allison's number and we're having breakfast in Columbus next Sunday morning. Oh yeah, that just happened. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Simple Math

Andy Hull has one of the best voices I have, EVER, heard. His voice evokes actual emotions with his simple tones and fluctuations and can carry a song all by itself without any accompanying instruments. I can thank his masterful lyrics for getting me through more than one emotional hurdle this past year, and I can say with all honesty that he will probably be with me for whatever life throws at me in the future. This is the first single off his band's newest CD. While nothing can compare to hearing him sing the words, reading them shows off his amazing talent at songwriting. I highly, highly recommend checking him out.

Hunter eyes - I'm lost and hardly noticed - Slight goodbye - I want to rip
your lips off in my mouth - And even in my greatest moment doubt the
line between deceit and right now - Simple math, it's how our
bodies even got here - Sinful math, the ebb and flow to multiply
- What if I was wrong, and no one cared to mention? - What
if it was true, and all we thought was right was wrong? -
Simple math, the truth cannot be fractioned either way
- I imply - To mitigate the guilt, we could align a
perfectly constructed alibi to hush the violent guilt
that eats and never dies - In actual blame,
They called me once the dark divide -
Simple math, it's why our bodies even
lay here - Sinful math, the truth
cannot be fashioned - What if you
were crazy, would we have to listen
then? - What if we've been trying to get to
where we've always been? - What if I was
wrong, and started trying to fix it? - What if you
believed me? Everything is brilliant - What if I've
been trying to get to where I've always been? - What
if we've been trying to get to where we've always been?
- Simple math, believe me, all is brilliant - What if we've
been trying to kill the noise and silence. - What if I was
wrong, and you never questioned it? - What if it was true,
that all we thought was right, was wrong? - Simple math, the truth
cannot be fractioned - I imply I've got to get it back then

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

What was the best thing about your day, today?

That was the question posed by my friend Dave tonight at our so-called, "church" community. He asked it as we sat down to dinner. The hosts for the evening, Steve and Vicki, shared a similar practice they've done with their kids as they were growing up. We worked our way around the table and everyone shared their best experience of the day. (Mine was making a trip to Tabetha's house during my lunch break to spend a little time with her.)

I was intrigued enough with the idea that when I got home I called my Dad and asked him the same question; unsure of what good experience he could possibly have had spending the day in a nursing home. I was surprised to hear him say he had two good experiences. First, my Mom visited with him for two and a half hours. Second, he sat up on the edge of his bed for the second time in a week; a big deal for someone who's been laying down for almost a year.

I love this question for a few reasons. I love what it does to a community by allowing everyone to experience in everyone else's pleasure. I love what it does to a personal psyche by continuing the good vibes of an individual moment in a sometimes too-long day. And I love the idea of focusing on one experience versus the easier route of focusing on the junk that usually overrides our thought processes.

So I ask each and every person reading this... What was the best thing about your day, today? Please answer it, as much for me and others as for yourself. Post your comment as anonymous if you'd rather remain so. But answer it. Please.

What was the best thing about your day, today?