Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August Photos

The Recluse @ Cave 9

Old friend

Glue @ Cave 9, Aug 22nd

Delusional @ Cave 9, Aug 22nd

Monday, August 25, 2008

Three From The Vault

- I am having one of those days where whatever music I put on doesn't feel right. I'll get two or three songs into a record and then turn it off. I hate when this happens.

- It has been raining for three or four days straight, and it isn't expected to stop until Friday. I'm not used to this. It makes me feel tired constantly. I guess I couldn't make it in Seattle.

- I am now the proud owner of a pair of Vans Rata Plus, as pictured here:
They are the first pair of Vans from the surf line I have ever owned in a decade of Van wearing. I knew I had to have these as soon as I saw 'em. They are sort of in the Wallabee realm, but infinitely cooler. I wore them for most of the weekend and they are really comfortable, but too warm for an Alabama summer. I'll just have to wait and rock them constantly in the fall.

- I went to check out some GCW wrestling this Saturday with several friends. Ric Flair was doing a meet and greet but I opted out of meeting The Man to save some cash. Despite that, I had a great time. We were some of the only people there who were "in the know" so to speak; starting tons of chants, making signs, etc. A lot of the matches were really sloppy but as far as I can tell it is a relatively new promotion and most of the talent is local. I'll definitely hit up another one of their events soon to see if it improves. The great Mick Foley is supposed to be working with them in November.

More recent photos soon...

Friday, August 22, 2008

For all the nobody people like me....a love letter to my hometown

This is an open love letter to my hometown; possibly the most honest I’ve ever written. Lots of you will either not get it or scoff at it, and that is fine. Just remember all of it when you complain about Tuscaloosa around me so I can save a breath or twelve.

Tuscaloosa is in fact what most people say it is. It is a college town. It is a place where The Crimson Tide and College Football might as well be religion. It is certainly a party town. It is a world of its own with a unique feel; somewhere between a quiet, tight knit community like Montevallo and the city/suburb dichotomy of Birmingham. Some have said that “there is nothing here” and have been, and always will be completely wrong. There is much, much more to my home than meets the eye. These examples may mean nothing to the cynical ivory tower dweller with his or her bags packed and ready to move to whatever city might be hip this year, and that is fine. They are presented as a reminder to myself and others who struggle with the love/hate relationship that is growing up here. If you know, you know, and this is for you.

It is riding your bike up and down the hills of Northwood Lake as a kid and feeling completely free. It is entire summers spent at the NWL pool, diving off the lifeguard stand when no one was looking, being in awe of the older girls (or guys), trying to talk to them and failing miserably, and all the random mischief that took place as soon as the sun went down and the gate was locked. It is a random winter where it happened to snow, and feeling like we were transported to some foreign arctic land, if only for a day.

It is the fear of leaving the comfort of elementary school for Riverside and its two floors, field house, log cabin, and endless walls of lockers. It is being dropped off at said school and having to wait in the parking lot until the doors opened, forging friendships with any other misfits you could find. It is bad lunchroom food, first loves, fights, vodka in a water bottle on the bus, stacks of napkins, bent forks, and coaches who seemed to speak entirely different languages. It is hopeless crushes on Mormon girls, being tossed out of high school parties in Crown Pointe only to go back and egg the house later. It is somehow discovering and falling in love with punk rock along the way, thanks to George and Chuck at Vinyl Solution (the only love that has stuck around).

It is moving on up to County High (The real building, not the slick food court meets prison that exists now), hanging out in the gravel lot with misfits old and new, asking Senior girls to Prom, almost wrecking the Driver’s Ed car, and subsequently going down Skyland to take your driving test and barely passing. It is holding your first girlfriend’s hand for the first time at City Fest and feeling unstoppable. It is staying up all night at Boone Cabin and jumping off the deck into Lake Tuscaloosa to wake yourself up and prepare for another day without worry. It is getting your first job and feeling like you have money to burn. It is throwing your cap in the air at Coleman and knowing you want to do it again in four or five years.

It is getting accepted to UA and skipping orientation because you think you know everything about campus, and then going to class to discover you know two things: jack and shit. It is new friends who become family just like your old ones. It is staying up all night just because you can. It is City CafĂ© at 5 am and again at 1 pm. It is THE AVENUE and every hilarious thing that ever went down there. It is game days on The Quad (or a Saturday with Eli on the radio in the office at Foodmax for me). It is seeing bands at the old Johnny house or the basement of Alabama Apartments. It is a Grand Canyon’s worth of mistakes (some you make twice) and learn from before it is all over. It is the uncomfortable sleep of two people in a dorm room bed. It is seeing best friends fall in love and get married, it is also seeing friends fall out of love and not knowing which side to be on.

It is graduating again in the same room, with a less than optimistic feeling this time around. It is the genuine fear of the “real world” and not knowing how to handle three or four kinds of loss all at once. It is the desire to see different things. It is road trips, tours, and various other types of escape. It is living alone and paying bills, It is 9 to 5 with a million ideas on how to live without it. It is hope and despair all at once. It is a stack of failed relationships. It is having the best of friends stick by you despite all your faults and quirks, and doing the same for them. It is having no clue what the next day, week, or month will bring, and the strange comfort that comes along with that fact.

Most of all, it is my home. Tuscaloosa is just as much a part of me as I am a part of it. I will always wear Crimson, get excited in the fall, and give a “Roll Tide” to anyone within earshot. I will always get random cravings for Archibald’s, Dreamland, and Taco Casa. I will always love meeting new people and finding new spots to hang out and talk about life. I will always love the feeling I get when I ride a bike around campus, no matter what gets remodeled or how The Strip now looks more like a strip mall. I will always peer down to see how muddy the Black Warrior River is that day when I go over the bridge. I have good and bad memories about damn near every part of this town, and wherever a car, plane, or train will (hopefully) take me, Tuscaloosa will always be where my awkward, goofball, misfit heart lies.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Saying Goodbye Again

Ana, I love you and I hope your move goes as smooth as possible. I am glad you are doing something to make yourself happy.

(note to the public: I swear I am not as chunky as this photo makes it out to be)

Terror, Death Before Dishonor, The Warriors, and Trapped Under Ice were in town last weekend. The show went great despite the delay in starting and an incident or two. Tons of friends from out of town came out, and it was great to see everybody on that tour as well. I am always jealous when my friends come through. I wish I could hop in the van and head out with them every single show. So it goes.

If all goes as planned, I will be going on a cruise and (hopefully) going into Mexico Jan 3rd-9th. I have to get a passport and start saving money. My budgeting skills are nothing short of awful. The train trip for next year is still on my mind as well. We shall see what happens.

Gotta "Conquer The World." (Thanks DTN)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beat My Head Against The Wall

Me: Classifieds, This is Mike.
Customer: Hi Mike, How are you today?
Me: (awkward pause)


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lazy Saturday

Today I went to the pool for a couple of hours and felt more relaxed than I have in quite some time. Since the weather cooled down a bit last night, the water was the perfect temperature, and there was a slight breeze going. I could have easily fallen asleep on my float if I had stayed out any longer. It's too bad I can't feel like that daily. I made a quick lunch of hash browns and scrambled eggs afterward. It came out okay...nothing to write home about. I need to learn to cook.

Foundation and Forfeit played Cave 9 last night. Great bands, great people. Check them out on the remaining dates of their tour if you can.

Life Of Agony - River Runs Red & Ugly
Al Green - I'm Still In Love With You
Squeeze - Singles: 45's And Under
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Damn The Torpedoes

Monday, August 04, 2008

Random phots from the past few weeks.

Tom Waits @ The Alabama Theater, 7/3/08

Jerry Seinfeld @ BJCC Concert Hall, 7/16/08


I Rise @ Cave 9, 8/3/08