Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hello From the Road!

Blog, it's going to be an unfocused post today, but I'm giving this "blogging from the road" thing the old college try. Right now I'm in a bar in Madison, Wisconsin watching football with this group of people who have somehow become my tour family. I've ended up in a comedy band that plays in basement bars and skate shops. So this is what it's like at the top...

Like I said, it's an unfocused entry, Blog. That means only one thing: pictures!

Look at my road family, Blog! This is how we eat after performing in a skate shop.

Look at our merchandise Blog! Buy some!

Look at the show we are bringing to the masses in the Midwest!

See us in our van, Blog? Fun every second!

This is what we look like when we're singing songs.

And this is what we look like when we are prepared for the winter cold in a Motel 6 in Fargo.

This is fun, Blog. You should try it sometime.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My New Life (and a Sundog)

Well Blog, I quit my job last Friday and have put 400 miles on my car in the last two days. I still feel like I'm on a Christmas vacation of sorts, but I received a Facebook note about how today would normally be my late day at the job I just quit, and I realized that it's indeed happened. I don't have to answer to a phone queue anymore. I'm no longer at learners' beck and call. I don't have to calculate GPAs and talk people out of taking Tests and Measurements with Stats next quarter. Even better: January 7th isn't the start of a quarter anymore. It's an idle Monday; one where I'll be in rehearsal with the NTC.

At the moment, I'm in North Dakota. Home. Being here during Christmas time is something that I haven't done in years. It's a little weird. A few weeks ago my roommate Andy asked me what my favorite ornament from my childhood was. I found that I wasn't able to answer him because I haven't been home to my mom's for so long to even see what ornaments she has from when we were kids. Upon arriving in Finley tonight, I noticed that she has decked her tree with a matching assortment of red and gold balls and stars. I like it. I also have realized I'm sentimental about specific things. Apparently Christmas ornaments haven't made the cut since I haven't gathered the gumption to search the basement for what is left of this time of year circa 1990.

In other, more exciting news, 48 hours from now I'm going to be in Iowa. I know. Iowa naturally equals immense excitement. But I'll be winding down from a show at some bar that has decided to pay us in t-shirts. That's not a thing that happens to me. I can't quite wrap my mind around it, but I'm sure it will all make sense once we're on the road. I'm hoping it will make sense once we're on the road. If I think about the future too much these days, I stop believing that I've actually taken a step toward this life. The present is going to be the best place to keep my thoughts, I think. It's where I'm the happiest anyway. Might as well live it up where I most currently am. My most recent situation tells me that place is the frozen prairie. Tomorrow that place is going to be a seedy bar in Fargo. The next night? Iowa. After that? Chicago.

But as I said, the present is the best place to be. So is the past. Maybe not 1990 though. But a couple days ago, I got the most kickass picture of a sundog. Check it, Blog:

This is what happens when it's legit cold outside. .
It was weird, Blog. I was driving to see my Dad for Christmas Eve and I looked up into the sky for some reason to see where the sun was. I was surprised to see a dull point of light. It was bright outside and the light that was cast on the prairie wasn't the kind that is done so by a cloud-muted sun. But that's what this light looked like. After a moment I realized that I wasn't looking at the sun, but at a sundog. I had just explained to Kerin what a sundog was a few days before; mentioning that I hadn't seen one in years. And here one was with me on my drive to Herman on Christmas Eve. Sundogs are one of the two things I like about the cold, Blog. I'll let you guess what the second one is.

Hint: It's not worrying about my car starting.

With that, I have drunk a bottle of wine, Blog. It's time to turn in. Here's to hoping I get a chance to update you on my band tour adventures. Tomorrow we tackle the great city of Fargo. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just My Final Manic Monday

Blog, today was the last Monday at my job. I just did some simple math based on there being 52 weeks in a year and also taking holidays and random days off into consideration. Including an 8 month hiatus that took place back in 2008, I came to the rough estimate that today was my 220th Monday at my job. I have woken up after 220 Sundays. I have dragged myself out of various beds to various busses and cars that have brought me downtown to start the week 220 times. I have gone to the elevator lobby and waited for the familiar ding to tell me that it was time to climb into a tiny box with other people 220 times... no wait. That would be more like 1,100 times (a conservative estimate too) since I do that every day. My God. What have I done?

It's easy to allow the mundane repetition of coming to work, hitting the elevator call button, and making my way down the same hallway of cubes 220 times over the past 5 1/2 years to take over everything I've experienced at my job. It's been an amazing job. It's one that allowed me to leave for stupid reasons only to let me come back. It's a place I met a guy who gave me one of the most formative relationships I've had. It's a place where I've met some of my best friends. It's a place that has allowed me to grow and cultivate a set of skills I never thought I'd have. I seemed to have this uncanny ability to predict vague details of what would happen to me right before I started working at Capella (as far as crisis go). However, little did I know that I'd walk away from the place with a newfound motivation to pursue what I really love and not care so much about money (though that's easy to say when you're making it). I also never thought I'd actually be the type of person to be brave enough to challenge people who are bitchy and stupid. We live, we learn I guess.

Looking back at those old Livejournal entries has allowed me to realize two things: 1) I used to be a lot funnier than I am now (probably because I was a lot dumber) and 2) My priorities were completely superficial and  monetary. It makes sense. Those priorities have every chance of coming back in the near future when I come back from tour with no job. But for now I'm going to do my best to live in the present and begin my 220th Tuesday knowing that the dull and repetitive Tuesdays that have come before it haven't always been so dull and repetitive. They've been exciting. They've been sad. They've been collecting for the past 5 1/2 years into this crazy growth that I'm only recognizing now. Retrospect is freaking my brain out right now. And it's telling me that leaving is totally the right thing to do.

Oh and for the record, this time I'm leaving for something infinitely cooler than working at a lame insurance underwriting association as a trampled-upon receptionist.

Despite all of this, I kind of never want to do the same thing 220 Mondays in a row again. I can't say that won't happen, but here's to hoping.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Writing a Writer

Blog, should I facebook renowned author Chuck Klosterman about the day I was born? I don't really have a reason other than to simply tell him I was born on the day on which he set his fictional book Downtown Owl. I know nothing else of anything he has ever writ. Yes. Writ. Here's what I came up with when I had a couple of glasses of wine in me the other night:

Dear Chuck Klosterman,

I've never read anything you've written. For that, I'm sorry. You've been a suggested author for me to look into since I first heard of you in 2006. I've never heeded anyone's advice on this, and I'm not sure why. But I don't really read anyone's shit these days, so don't feel like I'm avoiding you. Au contraire. Lookit. I'm writing you a facebook message. (I figured the best way to contact him directly would be the message him on facebook, no?)

The reason I'm messaging you is because though I've never read anything you've written, I know you've written a thing about the day I was born. Perhaps it's better to say that you took the day I was born and made it the setting of a book of yours. At least I think you did. A few months ago my sister in law texted me a picture of a striking article from the Fargo Forum dated February 5th 1984; my birthday. It described the freak snowstorm I was born in. I was amazed that she had sent me such a thing. She told me it was in the front pages of your book Downtown Owl. Perhaps it was included as a real life anecdote to give context of where your fictional story took place.

I was supposed to be born in Morris, MN, but because of that freak storm I was born at home in Herman, MN on the comfort of a waterbed. You can ask my parents about the details of how that went down if you want. A few weeks later me and this other kid named Scott (who I've never met) were featured on the front page of Herman's newspaper dubbed as "snow babies" since we were both born under unconvential circumstances. Since then, the people in my family reminisce about where they were the day I was born; how suddenly there was a white wall of snow that blinded everyone and how there were people who died in their cars. I've created this idea of what that day was like in my mind, even though I know my version of it is nothing close to what actually happened.

Maybe I should read your book and find out what your take on it is. I guess I just wrote you to tell you about this thing of which we both know and how it has impacted our lives in its particular way. You got a published novel out of it, I got a mailing address as my place of birth on my birth certificate. Potato, potato, am I right?

Anyway, I hope you have a good day, Chuck. Way to be from North Dakota. I'm from there too, but that's a different drunken letter for a different drunken day.



Maybe I'll just hold on to this for now. Wine makes me do things that don't translate well into sobriety; hence "unconvential".