Thursday, June 28, 2007

the governor asks you to pray

dear alabama:

please pray. the governor is asking.

specifically, please pray between the dates of June 30 and July 7.

thank you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

“my wife killed my son”

nobody really knows what I do for a living, and it’s hard to describe, so usually I just say that I do music, which is more than most of what I do, so it’s a fair statement, and it’s more interesting to talk about than “business development”.

but during the week, I work for the chamber of commerce – doing a mix of economic research and business development – a good bit of what I do is go out and meet with business owners in birmingham, to provide assistance and conduct research on the business community. are you bored yet? it’s actually a pretty cool job.

anyway. today I drove up to walker county to meet with an automotive supplier. joining me in the meeting was an older gentleman from a state office, out of montgomery, who I will call sam.

sam and I have attended a few of these meetings together, but never really talked much. after today’s meeting, sam looked at me and he said “hey I’m gonna grab lunch up the road, want to join me?” sure.

15 miles up highway 78 and I was sitting in a green-roofed barbeque hut, me and sam, the only two guys wearing ties within 40 miles. the entire place looked up at us when we walked in.

sam is I guess in his mid 60’s. he’s got thin gray hair, sleek metal-framed glasses, hard blue eyes, sun on his face from several weekends of golf, and a thick, slow, southern accent. the kind of accent that you can only have if your grandmother was born in the deep south. sam’s speech is running to slow down. he takes his time with everything, and he seems to notice a lot too. the kind of man who observes much and comments little. I didn’t know what to talk to sam about at lunch, so I do what I always do when I don’t know what to say. I ask questions.

“you looking to retire soon?” (I have this tendency to ask questions that are borderline inappropriate) he said he was, in less than 2 years, looking forward to it. “what year was your grandmother born” 1897. around the time birmingham was born. fascinating. I asked if his family had recorded any of his grandmother’s stories. they hadn’t. “you have any kids?” sam hung his head and said no, he didn’t have any kids.

suddenly I felt bad for asking the question. something told me not to ask, but something else told me to go ahead and bring it up. sam looked back up, “I had a son, but he died. he was eleven. he was the most beautiful 11-year-old boy you would’ve ever met, too.” I said nothing. I raised my glass of sweet tea to drink, and kept listening. sam wasn’t finished.

“my wife, you see, she was emotionally disturbed. and one day, about 8 years ago, she killed my son, and then she killed herself.”

“sam, I am so sorry. I had no idea. I feel bad for bringing up a sensitive issue…”

he interrupted me.

“no. no. everybody says that. but you know what? I loved my son, and I love talking about him and remembering him. I never stop thinking about him, you know? so I don’t mind talking about him. I’d rather share my thoughts than keep them to myself. If you are ever in a conversation like this again – please remember that – I think most people like to remember the people they’ve lost.”

and then sam went on to talk about his boy. about coaching little league baseball – about how he didn’t treat his son any different than the other players – about how neat it is how boys around age 11 start to really gravitate towards their father, and how – and then sam just sort of stopped and looked up into a corner of the restaurant. his eyes heavy. he looked back at me.

"I just miss him, you know – he was a great boy…"

Monday, June 25, 2007

san francisco

just got in from a weekend in san francisco. I met with my friend karl digerness, and as is becoming our annual custom, we spent an entire saturday in his studio working on music. karl in particular was doing most of the work, as we were tracking his vocals on several different songs for an upcoming record. the trip had the added bonus of allowing me to see joseph digerness, who had just arrived back in san francisco the day before I got there. and I also sat in on sunday morning and played piano at city church. always a blast. also, it happened to be gay pride week.

below are some photos from trips to san francisco last year. I didn't have time to take many photos this year.

Friday, June 22, 2007

misogyny = bad

I'm totally posting about this because nick did.

but seriously, as if the drinking thing weren't enough...

Monday, June 18, 2007

lots of travel, lots of family

well, the past week has been insane. my uncle tom died unexpectedly and suddenly and so wednesday night I got on a plane and headed north, to baltimore, where I am from, and where I have a surprisingly large amount of family. it was great to catch up and visit with so many people I find that I care about a great deal. and I was glad that I could be there for my dad. if I ever lose my brothers, I'll probably freak out. fortunately, I'm rather set on dying young, so I will probably get away without ever having to deal with that.

on friday, I left for illinois with my friend alex. we were headed up there so that I could play for a wedding for my aunt's step-daughter (my step-cousin?). really it was just an excuse for a road trip (I am always looking for a good reason to burn fuel), and the time with alex, the open road, and illinois family could not have been more desirable.

illinois has a lot of corn. in fact, if you tried to eat your way through illinois, you couldn't. that's how much corn there is. here are some photos of me and alex in the corn and soybean fields.

and also of us in the middle of the road, and in front of a barn. (we were very excited about the barn)

and on the way home, we stopped in metropolis, which is right on the illinois / kentucky border. and in metropolis, they have a giant superman statue. I was very excited about this.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm headed to baltimore.

in the meantime, read this and be reminded of how evil alcohol is.

and remember, it is okay to be obese, but not okay to drink alcohol.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

CJ = Homeless

This is my friend, her name is Carla Jean:

I call her CJ, or carla, but never carla jean, because 3 syllables for a first name is too much unless your name is stephanie, or mohammad.

CJ works with me at the place where I work, but I don’t write about my job much because I would like to actually keep my job.

CJ also goes to red mountain church, which means that she is not only homeless, she also has no pastor.

CJ also actually likes sports, which means that she is different than me. actually, there are several women at work who roll their eyes at me when sports comes up because they know that I am completely incapable of engaging them in a sports-related conversation. these women then sometimes punch me in the stomach, and I lay on the floor and cry, while they laugh at me and point and make jokes at me. actually, in the above photo, CJ is looking at me writhing in pain on the floor.

CJ also reads approximately 4,000 books per day. this is two tons of books, which is more than an elephant eats in an entire week. that’s a lot of books, people.

CJ listens to cool music, whereas I do not. just today, actually, I renewed my obsession for vanilla ice. When I was in college I used to hang out with a guy named king (real name – not made up) and we would watch the vanilla ice movie and it was awesome, and if you think I am joking just go to youtube and watch it for yourself and be amazed.

So why is CJ homeless? Well – I’ll tell you. it’s because of the government. first, they staged the lunar landing, then they made the earth warm, and now they are causing a drought in alabama and also robbing 20-somethings of their living quarters.

So. If anyone here knows of a good roommate for CJ, this is what she prefers and is looking for: female, small brain, messy, refuses to do dishes, late on rent, loud, has lots of parties with obnoxious friends, and only reads US magazine.

Actually – ignore everything in the above preferences except “female”, and lets hook a friend up. lets turn theworstweblogintheworld into something good. together, we can do this, I am sure.

Monday, June 4, 2007

high school = ten years ago

saturday night on my way to the reunion, I was nervous. this surprised me, because I don't get nervous very often. we parked, and brooke and I walked around the corner, into the B&A warehouse, and next thing I knew, 4 hours quickly went by as I talked to people I have not seen or talked to in ten years, and who I surely will not see or speak to for at least another ten years.

why do we do reunions? I mean - I guess they are fun. but I wonder why people are looking to connect with people they have not seen in so long - and with people who no doubt have hurt them. I think maybe part of me wanted to go because I wanted to show people that I have changed - that I'm not the same jerk I was back then (I'm a slightly older jerk now). but instead I just talked to people in the room and didn't think much of proving myself to anyone. I was glad to find there wasn't much of that going on anyway. nobody was seeming to try to impress anybody.

I went to a christian high school where we learned things like how to fight the evolutionists and what a biblical world view is and how many fetuses get aborted annually and how there is no such thing as a gay gene. it's interesting that so many of the people I talked to on saturday night had so much less figured out today than they did ten years ago. we used to be so smart. we used to be so quick to slap people in the face with a bible verse and what we learned in our bible class. now we're all confused. the whole idea of "christian" education seems more and more bizarre the older I get.

I'm not saying it's all worthless. I'm just saying it seems like some of it is worth reconsidering. for me - the christianity I was served growing up - it was a heavy dose of answers and formulas. there was very little mystery. there was very little left to questioning. there was nothing left unexplained. and it seems that in that environment - at least for me - there was no need for faith. or really even god, because who needs faith in god if you've got everything figured out on your own?

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. maybe just that it was nice to be with people on saturday night who are also trying to claw their way out of dogmaticism, towards faith. not sure what that looks like, but it's nice to not be alone along the way.