Not only is today my birthday, but it marks my 2 year anniversary of blogging. Over the past 2 years I have posted 361 times, which averages out to posting nearly every other day. That’s a lot of blather. I don’t have a favorite post, but maybe you do. If you are regular reader of this blog, leave me a comment and tell me what you like about this blog. Personally, I like posting pictures of the kids.
In late 2002 I started attending local live music shows again. This was something I did regularly when I was in grad school, but really got out of the habit after returning to Chapel Hill as an “grown-up.” It was not much of stretch to attend a Wilco show in 2003 in Asheville.
Wilco is a band that I have followed since their first release in 1994. I always enjoyed their music, but never saw them live. This particular show in Asheville was a turning point for me. As I started looking to download a recording of the show (this was the early days of peer-to-peer tools), I discovered the online community of Wilco fans.
Over a period of time, this turned into somewhat of an obsession as I learned about the band, made friends online, traded CDs through the mail, downloaded concert recordings (bit torrent technology emerged during this time), and even participated in rock-n-roll tourism. I traveled to places like Pittsburgh, Denver, Washington DC and Chicago to attend Wilco shows. This helped convert online friendships into real friendships, and vice versa. I was part of the community.
One of the things I did was take photos and provide them to people making CD covers. Here is an example of a CD cover that someone made with one of my photos:
Anyway time moves on as it does, and I was becoming less involved in the community. I stopped traveling to shows, although I did continue to see them when the appeared locally. I stopped frequenting the forum, because as the band got bigger, the core group of people who started the forum were less involved. These were the people I knew and were friendly with.
The hard thing about this change in level of interaction is that I still like the band. I have continued to buy their albums, even pre-ordering them from the band’s website. Periodically, I check the forum for news about the band. I also check the band’s website for goings on with the band. While I have moved from an obsessive level of fandom to a normal level, sometimes I struggle with the upcoming tour schedule and wonder if I can get to a certain show. I just have to tell myself that I don’t do that anymore.
Last week I took a trip to Asheville NC for a studio photo shoot. I was traveling with one of the marketing analysts from my client. He’s one year out of college (early 20s). He told me that his sister was driving up from Greenville SC to go contra dancing, and he was planning on going too.
He asked me to go, and I decided that I would. I told him that at this point in my life, with all that is going on, I needed to do things to become more social. I also told him that normally, I would not have gone. But we figured that even if I didn’t enjoy it, it was a good way to kill a couple of hours rather than sitting in a hotel room.
Dancing is not my thing, and I haven’t danced hardly at all since college formals, and before that, contemporary bar mitzvahs. So the thought of spending a couple hours dancing didn’t really appeal to me. And then there was that 8th grade dance thing of all the boys on one side of the gym and all the girls on the other. We are all adults and this should not be that difficult. As it turns out, one of the tenets of contra dancing is that one dances with a different partner every dance. This means people are constantly shifting around and looking for new partners. As it turned out, every time I danced, a woman asked me to dance. If I attend another dance, as there are plenty in this area, I will have to be more confident and ask someone to dance. It was actually nothing like 8th grade.
Here’s an article from New York Magazine talking about the end of the generation gap. From a pop culture point of view, Gen Xers, now in their 30s and 40s, are following the same trends as folks in their 20s. They dress the same, they listen to the same music, and relate to the same cultural touchstones.
The term grup comes from the old Star Trek show and is a contraction for grown-up.
Grace’s swim team competed in the Summer League Championships today, and to psych up the team, earlier this week the coaches dyed everyone’s hair green. Well, everyone who’s parents said it was okay.
I took this picture this morning right after Grace woke up, so her hair is a bit messed up. It does remind me of the many celebrity mugshots we have seen over the years.
Peter celebrates finishing the 7th Harry Potter book
Peter and Meg each bought their own copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last night at midnight (after attending a Harry Potter party at the local bookstore). Peter read the first six chapters before going to sleep. He finished the 759-page book at 1:48pm.
The Duke Football Program (one of the worst in the nation) is utilizing resources from the Fuqua Business School (one of the best in the nation) to create a strategic plan for winning. It is actually an economic model, because Duke is in the red due to the high cost of running a football program. One way to increase revenue is to win and bring the fans back.
Read about it in the News & Observer
“The only good thing about sneezing when you have a loose tooth is that you might sneeze your tooth out.”
I signed my lease for my new apartment today and I started taking things over tonight. I wanted to start off right, so I picked very specific things: my statue of the Maltese Falcon, an acoustic guitar and a vacuum cleaner. Grace brought one of her teddy bears and one of Peter’s to sit in their room and wait for them. I tried explaining the symbolism and importance of establishing yourself in a new home to Grace, but I’m not sure if she got it.