Friday, May 27, 2005

Who Am I?

So, I was made privy to a couple of people's opinions of who I am today. I don't think either opinion is correct. One opinion might be correct. And I'm pretty sure that it is impossible for both to be correct.

My boss asked me if I was going to the Skynyrd concert tonight, and I told him that I just wasn't really all that into them. He gave me a strange look and said that he was surprised to hear that. "I really took you for the kind of guy that likes Skynyrd," he mentioned.

The kind of guy who is into Lynyrd Skynyrd? Me? I spend my breaks reading The New Yorker magazine. I would describe myself as quiet, introspective, a bit shy. One of the coolest things I did in recent memory was to see David Sedaris read from his books at Langford Auditorium. (Thanks for the tickets, Dad.) No disrespect to the fans, but I feel that the proud self description of the average fan at Starwood Amphitheatre would be "redneck."

And I am left to think, my boss thinks I am a redneck? Music lover, yes. Someone who can appreciate that Lynyrd Skynyrd has some really well written songs? Absolutely. If I had free tickets and nothing better to do? Sure, I'd go and people watch and have a good time. But my boss's look told me that he thought I was a big time fan. The guy waiting in line to get the best seats. Cooler in my trunk full of Coors Light. A value pack of beef jerky in the glove compartment. Um...nope.

Later the same day. I hear from a coworker that a new girl has been chatting with him and asking questions about all of the others who work here. She's been asking some funny questions. "Why does Jim walk like that?" "Debbie has a weird laugh, doesn't she?" My first thought is that this new girl needs to be a bit more respectful and not ask questions about people that are maybe a bit rude. My second thought is "I wonder what she has been saying about me?"

My friend says, "Do you really want to know?"

You don't say no to that.

He hesitates and says with a tight smile, "She said that she first thought that you were kind of geeky, but now she's thinking that maybe you're kind of cool."

Hmmm. I'm a redneck? Or a geek? Or a geeky redneck? Either people don't know me at all, or it's time to call one of those reality makeover shows.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Everything's gonna be just fine.

Self and #1 son. All I do in life is worry. "Why can't I make more money? I'm a nice guy. That should be enough, right?" "What if we don't have the warranty on the van that we thought and it breaks down?" "What if the compressor on the house AC unit goes out and it costs $600 to fix?" OK, those two just happened. But overall, I worry about more than any man should.

All of my lessons learned in life seem to come down to one thing. I've got a great family who loves me. That's what the people with the money seek. That's what the people for whom all goes right seem to long for. The lesson remains that I have what I need and the smiles that hide a world of anxiety should be replaced by relaxed smiles that indicate the peace I have within.

This guy in the picture has improved my life in ways as yet unrecognized. Great wit, a way with people of all places in this world, an overall great guy. His friends and familiy are lucky beyond measure to know him and have him in their lives. Everywhere I take him, people later compliment me on him. The two cherubs I am raising who are his younger siblings, I can only hope that they exhibit the same character as he does. I'll do my best to help that happen. And maybe I can relax and worry a bit less in the process.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Revenge Of The Sith

The only movie reviewer I know of to have won a pulitzer has reviewed Revenge Of The Sith and he loves it. Expertly written, of course.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bobby Thompson, Rest In Peace

Bobby Thompson passed away this morning. He is my stepfather. He came into my life when I was a teenager, sometime in the mid-eighties. He is known as one of the greatest banjo players ever. He seemed to play on just about every record to come out of Nashville for a period of time. Today marks the end of his long, long struggle with MS. He was a loving man who was loved very much. I'm lucky to have been a part of his life. A better tribute than this will follow in the comng days. (In the above photo, he's the man on the left.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

"Put 'em up! Put 'em up!"

Speaking of lists...

While perusing Pollstar, I decided to post some of the more mentionable concerts coming to Nashville over the next few months. Brittney's right, it is easy to just post a list.

And by the way, Bonnaroo looks as awesome as ever. I mean brilliant. Brilliant is the new awesome.

Fri 05/20/05 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Andrew Jackson Hall
Sat 05/21/05 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Andrew Jackson Hall
Sun 05/22/05 Young Dubliners 3rd & Lindsley
Thu 05/26/05 Richard Thompson Belcourt Theatre
Fri 05/27/05 Martha Wainwright The Basement
Sat 05/28/05 The Codetalkers Feat. Col. Bruce Hampton Exit / In
Sun 06/05/05 Mike Doughty 3rd & Lindsley
Thu 06/09/05 Cheap Trick Mercy Lounge
Fri 06/17/05 Aimee Mann The Cannery
Sat 06/18/05 The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Cannery Row Revival
Mon 06/27/05 COC (Corrosion Of Conformity) Exit / In
Tue 06/28/05 Bob Dylan Greer Stadium
Tue 06/28/05 Willie Nelson Greer Stadium
Wed 06/29/05 Robert Plant Ryman Auditorium
Wed 07/13/05 Mark Knopfler Ryman Auditorium
Wed 07/13/05 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Starwood Amphitheatre
Fri 07/15/05 Duran Duran Starwood Amphitheatre
Wed 07/20/05 Dave Matthews Band Starwood Amphitheatre
Sat 07/30/05 John Hiatt Ryman Auditorium
Sat 08/06/05 Junior Brown Opryland Plaza Party
Mon 08/15/05 Green Day Gaylord Entertainment Center
Mon 08/29/05 Chris Isaak Ryman Auditorium
Sat 09/10/05 Motley Crue Starwood Amphitheatre
Thu 10/06/05 Guy Clark James K. Polk Theater
Sat 10/29/05 Greg Brown Belcourt Theatre
Wed 12/07/05 Brian Setzer Orchestra Ryman Auditorium

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I'm proud of my town.

The lovely and talented Brittney at gives me reason to believe that every woman I see when I am out and about in my town might be this woman. Yep, next time I'm at WalMart, I'm going to giggle at every single woman in every single aisle. And I'm going to think, as they give me weird looks, "Hey, bite me."

Weird stuff like this happens to other people, too. Right?

I pick up my cell phone and see that I have missed a call. I am unfamiliar with the number. Curious, and lacking anything better to do, I Google it to see if it matches up with a name I know. It shows up as a doctor's office; incidentally, it's on the street where I lived the first 5 or so years of my humble life. Anyway, I have visited no doctors on that street in about 25 years, so I know that it must have been a wrong number. Hence, no voicemail was left.

Remember, I have nothing better to do. So I call this number. Expecting what? I have no idea. A nice female voice answers. The receptionist at a chiropractor's office. I explain that I got a call from there and ask if they were trying to reach me. Instead of blowing me off, she really tries to help. Does she have nothing better to do as well? She asks me my name. She asks me what company I'm with. No matter. It's just my personal cell number. Now, I'm trying to blow her off.

She asks around. To no avail. I thank her for her time and am about to hang up when she asks me one more question.

She: "Are you in the business of bees?"


Me: "Pardon?"

She: "Do you work with bees?"

Another beat. Hesitation. Pause. Whatever.

Me: ""

She: "OK. It must have been a wrong number. Have a nice day."

I hang up the phone and wonder where in the world that question came from. I wonder how I would have responded had my brain had more time to process that question. I'll just put that down as Surreal Experience #278 (and counting).

So. Beekeepers of Nashville. Call your local chiropractors. One of them might be in need of your services.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You had me at "Hello, It's Me."

Big thanks to MMMikey, who was kind enough to give me two tickets to see Todd Rundgren and Joe Jackson at the Ryman last night. Although I had already read several reviews from the tour, I was not quite prepared for how cool it was. I'm a fan of Joe since the Laughter and Lust CD and really have delved into his catalogue and followed his adventures in musical genres since. With Todd, I am mainly aware of how most musicians consider him a genius, but I only knew of a few of his hits and the music of 2nd Wind and TR-I.

Opening act Ethel made us quite aware that we were in for an interesting night. They are an intriguing string quartet who don't seem bound to any one genre. Incidentally, if you liked their music so much that you simply must have some thong underwear with their logo upon it, well here you go.

Joe came out and got right to his hits and really made my night. With trenchcoat on, and looking somewhat like a condor, he absolutely had me transfixed. In addition to playing what I loved, he played a song that had gotten past me called "Love At First Light." He remarked in preface that he had gotten both very negative responses to the subject of the song and also very positive responses. With all that I know of romance and tenderness, I fail to see why anyone would see anything but sweet and affirming love in it. But that's a beauty of art. It's just so subjective and you learn about yourself by what you take from it.

And then Todd took the stage, solo as well. And I saw many people leave early into his set. They had their reasons, and admittedly, I was in agreement with them. But I'm glad I wasn't moved to leave. Just he and a guitar, bellowing and strumming, Todd wasn't doing much for me. But little by little, song by song, interjection by interjection, he was winning me over. At set's end, I only wanted so much more. I wondered if he would bow to pressure to play the hit "Bang The Drum All Day." After all, there were no drums. Just the artist, a piano, and some guitars. Well, I didn't see the ukelele. Of course. So he played his big hit with nothing but a ukelele. And it sounded great. On a sidenote, the tune that really got me involved emotionally was "Pretending To Care." Some great lines, and what a wonderful take on the insecurities we bring into our relationships.

In closing, Joe Jackson and Ethel returned to the stage to join Todd in some really fun songs, including some great Beatles covers. My dad's only real criticism of the show became mine as well. These are great artists, but they really needed even the smallest of bands behind them. Just some drums maybe to provide some bottom to the overall sound. When Ethel backed them in the end, the overall improvement to the songs was quite obvious. And appreciated. It's hard to see why these performers, who are just brilliant musicians and showmen, didn't see that. That said, it was an event I'm glad I didn't miss. Thanks to the artists. I'll catch you next time you come around.

On a more personal level, had I known that I would find myself seated next to the absolute prettiest of bloggers (I can say that because my beautiful wife doesn't yet have a blog), I would have at least shaved my scruffy face before stepping out. It was nice to meet her, and her little friend too. If Peter Frampton comes to town, she'll be the first person I tell.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Sunday in the park with Joshua

So Sunday came along and as is not often the case, I had the day off. Beautiful day that it was, the Murfreesboro Beziats decided to go to Centennial Park. It just so happened that the crafts fair was there, so there was no shortage of fun people and their dogs. Cherub above was in heaven. Big dogs and little dogs alike were everywhere, begging for him to giggle and pet them.

I was looking forward to getting some nice pictures of the goings-on, but with Paige busy with Ari and her stroller and me watching over Joshua, there just weren't many opportunities for pointing-and-shooting. As soon as I would crouch down for a shot, he'd be off toward some small and expensive crafts, with visions, I'm sure, of seeing just how breakable or throwable said crafts were. So, not a lot of pictures, but some sweet memories were had.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco de Mayo! Time to get...acquainted.

It's three years to the day that I met my older sister. Given up for adoption some 30+ years ago, she sought us out and changed my life. We decided to meet at Bosco's on a Sunday morning on May 5, 2002. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to know all these years and wonder. I can't imagine how nervous she might have been to pursue this family she had never known. I can only speak confidently about how I felt to hear about her. I was excited to meet her and thrilled to get to know her.As she walked into Bosco's, I kind of knew immediately. My older sister. The person whose pigtails I was supposed to be pulling in younger years. The person I was supposed to get into fights with but look up to all the same. Well, we were spared the fights but I look up to her now. A kind and loving person. I'm lucky to be her little brother.Happy 5th of May, big sister.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A decent Tuesday May 10 awaits us. Not great, but decent.

If I still worked at a record store, these are the new CDs I'd be telling you about.

Alison Brown Stolen Moments

Renée Fleming Haunted Heart

Robert Earl Keen What I Really Mean

Dave Matthews Band Stand Up

Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation Mighty Rearranger - Got my tickets for the Ryman Auditorium show. Thanks Dad!

Weezer Make Believe

Lucinda Williams Live at the Fillmore

Various Artists Live from the Bluebird Café Vol. 1

And on World Press Freedom Day, no less.

Kenyan first lady storms into newsroom...