Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm not sure when I posted last. It's been a long, long time. For a while, I wasn't feeling very reflective. My life has been steadily improving for a few years now, which is really good. But, it doesn't inspire as much introspection. My situation, as it stands today, is this: I live by myself now, on Wright Ave - still in Greensboro. I work at Edward McKay bookstore. I worked my last shift at Gate City Noise, the record store, last week. Andrew is moving his shop downtown and I'm too busy to volunteer after the move. Working at that store hasn't been fun for over a year. A dying business is a sad thing.

My rock band is running in low gear at the moment. Our drummer is overseas again, so we're playing with a new guy - Marc, ex of Softward. I'd like to say that we're still having a lot of fun with it, but honestly, I think we're getting really burned out on all of the old songs, and the new ones are slooow in coming. I wish I had a good explaination for why, but I don't. I don't have much fear of the band breaking up though. We just have to pough through the slow times.

I got sucked into an emotional scene with a girl about this time last year. It played out really slow, and then blew up at the beginning of the summer. The blow up was my fault and I take responsiblity for it. The whole scene was lame. But, divorcing myself from it gave me some time to get perspective on a bunch of things. I started thinking about how you can't apply external solutions to internal problems. So, I decided to find a way to get to where I'd like to be. I know these things about myself: I'm lazy, I'm unhealthy physically, I'm afraid of being lonely, I'm unsure of my ability to follow through when time comes.

While all of this was happening in my head, I got into another thing. I started reading about the Appalachan Trail. Basically the AT is a footpath that runs from Georgia to Maine. Every year thousands of people walk all or part of it. The people that walk all of it in a single season take about six months out of their lives to do it. In 2006, I'm going to hike the AT.

A lot of things are still up in the air about it. Money is the biggest concern. I'll need close to $3000 dollars and I don't have anything like that now. But, I feel like I can do it. The whole thing is really exciting. And incredibly scary. It hits at almost all of my biggest fears. I'll be hiking southbound, which means more alone time. The physical labor of it is intense. Especially in the first months. The dropout rate is high. Only about 10% of thruhikers finish the hike. I can't imagine that I won't make it if I start. I've got to keep that attitude. Most of the literature I've read about the trail says that it changes your life - that you're a new man when you step off of it. But, I'm trying to be a new man before a step onto it. And to that end, I'm looking on the bright side of things. I'm pretty close to happy these days.

A few months ago, I made some moves to apologize to the girl. We're friends, which is harder for me than it is for her, but it's working out. In a weird irony, that I'll spare you the details of, I'm actually leaving town (for the hike) before she's leaving for grad school. It's load off my mind that I'll be walking while she's packing.

I've got a long walk to do in the morning, so I'd better be off. Shelly, I'd love to hear more about what's happening with your family, if you're up for talking about it.

Goodnight.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hello friends. It's been quite a while since my last post. Here are some highlights:

About three weeks ago my parents moved back to the NOLA area. The structure of their home is intact but the contents were completely destroyed. I mean everything. The sofa that was in the den was in the kitchen. The chest of drawers in my childhood bedroom completely collapsed. The refrigerator was upside down. Mud and debris were everywhere. They've since gutted the house but still have a long road ahead. I'm going to NOLA this weekend to check things out.

My family was subjected to a second hurricane in a matter of weeks. My parents decided to stay. I tried to evacuate to Austin but in my attempt I traveled only 10 miles in six hours time. Entire interstates were parking lots. Gas stations were closed because they had no fuel. Tempers were flaring. I chose to turn around to ride a CAT two or three hurricane in my home as opposed to riding out a tropical storm in my car stuck in a tiny Texas town. It took me less than 15 minutes to get home (see above about traveling six hours). With Rita, I started taking natural disasters personally. But after about 30 minutes of feeling sorry for myself, I got over the shit. That night a friend of mine and I went to a local bar for a hurricane party of our own. Low and behold, I ran into a guy from church at the pub. As my friend Christine says, "You can take the girl out of the New Orleans but not the New Orleans out of the girl." Oh yeah. Did I mention that I also missed the Austin City Limits Festival thanks to Rita the Ho?

I nearly adopted a second dog, but things didn't work out after all.

The Astros won the NLCS and the NLDS but were swept by the Chicago White Sox. Talk about an emotional ride. Truth be told, we should have never made it as far as we did. While I didn't expect us to win the World Series, I was upset that we lost four straight games, all nail biters. But I'm proud of my boys. We'll see what next season brings.

Don't even waste your time with the book "Wicked." I've been stuck on page 76 for four weeks now.

I learned that I absolutely love Cuban cigars. Hmmmmm.

In music news. Last week I saw Roert Cray and Marcia Ball. If you ever have the chance, Marcia Ball puts on a great show. HEr CD's don't do it justice.

Fri. night I went to the sold out U2 concert. Talk about an amazing show. I can only imagine how much time is put into production. They had strings of lights that resembled a curtain. Images moved up and down and back and forth around. There was a projection screen above the stage. Most of the time it showed individual band members. At one point, there were three images of Bono with a hologram of him in the middle. My only complaint? They didn't play "All I Want is You" and "Mysterious Ways."

All for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Not only did I know who was playing in the World Series this year, I actually saw a bit of one of the games (theone that went into overtime) while it was on in the Wok & Grill. After working 12 hours, I wolfed down combination fried rice, and joined the banter. Mike, Angie, you would have been proud. "That pitch was SO outside even the catcher couldn't frame it!"