Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tonight, the oft-mentioned Daniel the Violin Guy, who treated me to Italian at Il Bacio across the street from my apartment yesterday as my official "birthday dinner," had a spare ticket to see rock violinist Bobby Yang perform at Eddie's Attic. I'd not seen Yang before, though Daniel had played me one of his CDs, and I love spending time with Daniel. So when Daniel invited me to sit at his front-row table to enjoy the band, I made my way to Decatur.
Before the show, Daniel stood outside in the lobby to greet me and introduced me to Bobby Yang. Yang's birthday was that night. I told him that my birthday is Thursday, and we discussed the whole Gemini-Cancer cusp phenomenon. He was very nice. I probably sounded like a dork.
Yang and his band play rock covers, though the covers are filled with passion and infused with energy. Yang and his band are so talented, but the whole thing carried this excellent jam-session vibe. I got to sit at the edge of the damn stage, which ruled. Everyone onstage during the show was having a fantastic time, and it made for a truly amazing night. The music was great. The show was excellent, more than I was expecting and maybe one of the best concerts I've ever seen.
Yang even covered one of my favorite songs, Stevie Wonder's "I Believe," and he issued a special thanks to Daniel from the stage for being "the best luthier in the business." Then, he name-checked the company Daniel works for. And Daniel just beamed.
I tried a little bit to watch how Daniel experienced the music, for he knows the instruments and understands them moreso than any person I've ever met. Mostly, he was just held in thrall by the great stuff that Yang was able to do with rock music. The big moments. The layering of sounds, often piling hints of songs on top of one another. The unbridled, infectious joy that he was able to communicate to his bandmates.
Daniel loves music. He feels it in his fingertips when he hears someone else play. He knows how the sounds are made, knows the wood and the hollows of the machine. In his element, he is one of the most remarkable people I've ever seen.
It was really good to share this with him.
Bobby Yang, meanwhile, said he and his band will be performing in Athens this week. And they're due back at Eddie's Attic on August 3. I highly recommend seeing them play.
Posted by Riley at 6/20/2007 01:39:00 AM
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The last time that I took a week off of work, it was April 2004, when I went to London. Yes, that long ago. The fact that I never took any vacation time actually became a running joke around my office amongst my office full of co-workers, only two of whom I would consider even remotely a friend. The reason I never took any vacation time until now was because I was always in trouble at work and in fear that I was going to lose my job. Last year, I was pulled into several disciplinary meetings. These co-workers who aren't my friends all treat me like I'm a freak alien. Last year, one of them yelled at me in front of a supervisor that I never do any work, which was not true.
In April of this year, I won an award from my boss and supervisor for "Most Improved Performance 2006," which I'm actually proud of. But I also realize that the award symbolizes bad things in addition to good ones. Yes, I have a better reputation now amongst my co-workers. But I've also spent the last year refocusing on how to do a job I fucking despise.
I stopped blogging to become a responsible adult who took his job seriously. It was necessary. I was a bad employee. Now, I'm not. But, Jesus Christ, my job fucking sucks. Most of the people in that goddamn cubicle farm are horrid. And I'm still going to stand apart from them and be considered a weirdo held to a different standard from other workers because I'm not a God-fearing black female over 35 with two children and a mortgage payment.
No, I'm a man with bad legs who works 60 hours a week at two jobs and rarely sees his own apartment. I see too many movies. I don't have a spouse, a boyfriend, kids or any other sorts of dependents. I turn 31 on Thursday.
God, I want another life. But this is my life. And it's mostly a fine life. I'm happy, even though I feel trapped and in a rut for much of it.
I'm listening to Queen's "I Want to Break Free" right now. Surely, that's influencing my theme.
I figured I'd blog again since the blog posts I wrote during my last vacation are among my best. But I'm not going anywhere for my vacation this time. I don't really have the funds. I'm staying home. I'm celebrating a birthday. I thought I might try and write something. My legs hurt. I'm exhausted. The ad valorem tax on my Yaris made the price of my car tag renewal so high that I winced when I paid it. (I was thinking about finding sex this week. Instead, I feel like got fucked by the county tax office. I guess that's progress.)
Adulthood sucks. Change would be good. Time to make change would be a luxury. It's my first week off in years, and I don't know which would be a more worthwhile way to spend time. Should I relax for once, or should I try to write a story and find a new job?
I let myself get like this. I feel like crying.
I've gotten in the habit of reading comic books. It started when I bought the first issue of the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER "Season Eight" comics. Oxford Comics, the best comic store in the state, is right around the corner from my apartment. I discovered that the price of individual comics versus the entertainment value they provide me on a lunch break made the purchase more than worthwhile.
Call me a geek if you want. Michael Chabon likes comics, and, if it's good enough for an author like him, it's good enough for me.
I've found a lot of fun stuff. Alan Moore's WATCHMEN is my favorite so far. Soon I'm going to retry Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN, which I tried to read years ago. I've also jumped into Frank Miller's ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER, but not much has happened in the seven issues that've been released of that so far. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, in comparison, was much better. BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, recommended by a friend who saw me reading WATCHMEN, was also a good read. Tonight, I picked up EX MACHINA and Y: THE LAST MAN, for author Maria Dahvana Headley recommended the work of Brian K. Vaughan.
And I guess I've been watching SMALLVILLE on DVD.
Taking advantage of a sale at the bookstore, I bought the following DVDs: TOTAL RECALL, TERMINATOR 2, THE BOURNE IDENTITY and THE BOURNE SUPREMACY. I don't know what came over me, but this actionfest strikes me as one of the better purchases I've ever made.
Marlan, a manager at the bookstore, saw my shopping bag.
"Man, that's a great movie night," Marlan said. And he usually looks at me like I'm a weirdo from Mars.
Dude, speaking of Mars, TOTAL RECALL is a fucking great movie. Midget prostitutes with machine guns, a three-breasted hooker, bugged-out eyes, blue sky on Mars, a guy with a Chucky-lookalike Martian mutant bursting out of his stomach, countless Schwarzenegger one-liners and the great, great Sharon Stone.
SPIDER-MAN 3 was a bad movie. WAITRESS was good. CRAZY LOVE was great. ONCE was pretty damn good for what it was. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END was mostly all right. SHREK THE THIRD was pointless and kinda tired. KNOCKED UP fucking ruled, and I hope those of you who enjoyed it go buy FREAKS AND GEEKS on DVD.
I still take improv classes at Dad's Garage. Every one of my skits is a little bit creepy. I'm trying to work on that. The classes are fun, though.
And I was in a show called BRAWL a couple weeks ago. I played a character named Walker. Walker used a walker. In my first scene, I was onstage with a mostly naked man. We were both wrapped in toilet paper "bandages." At the end of the show, my spine was ripped out during a pro wrestling match, and I fell over dead. A group of my friends were in the front row. It was interesting.
Next time I'm onstage, I'll know not to carry a walker with me. And I won't restrict my peripheral vision by wrapping my head in toilet paper. And I'll know how to better secure my detachable spine.
No, I don't have any photos of that. I wish I did.
* * * * * * * * * *
OK, that's enough for now.
Posted by Riley at 6/19/2007 03:39:00 AM