My Big Night Out

My Big Night Out

I went to see a Grateful Dead cover band play tonight at a bar/”concert hall,” which I’d been to before but decided to venture out to alone tonight. My daughter is away for Thanksgiving holidays, for TEN days, which is absolute insanity for a parent to legally be away from their child, but that’s the reality of life these days. So having a long holiday weekend has resulted in a days-long overindulgent production of hedonism which has been long overdue.

I’ve been doing different things as a new divorcee for a while but they’re a little more understated than what I went to tonight.  I’m a little more protected, or in a place where I don’t need protection. And I don’t mean from other guys looking for fights or trouble. I mean women looking for trouble, which is far worse.

I don’t drink so my plan was to lurk in the shadows of the bar/concert hall and just enjoy the music for a few hours. And I’m a little down on most females at the moment so I haven’t been looking for any attention from women.

The first set went by no problem and was pretty good. I saw some familiar faces, in fact, which are the same old deadheads that go to these shows when this particular band plays here every time. I’ve been going to see them for 8-years now, amazingly. And the same old people are still showing up to these things. But the second set was when everyone seemed to loosen up a lot.

I guess everyone was pretty buzzed or had an eventful break between sets, or I was emitting a pheromone that smelled like patchouli oil because every snaggle-toothed spinster and over-40 barfly was pulling me out to dance and putting their arms around me. It was like a prank-based television show. People were even noticing how absurd it was and pointing and laughing, rightfully. I’d been in this situation before, so it’s not unfamiliar to me, and I try not to be an utter wallflower in any case.

So I went out and danced some because I was having fun and I’m not a total prude, but they kept wanting to talk and were all obviously kind of drunk. I guess they couldn’t figure out I was there to listen to the band and not socialize since I was, you know, ALONE. But I ended up leaving early just to escape. I now feel like joining the #metoo movement. Here’s some video of me last night: me dancing

So, I’m going to need to restrategize my social callings it seems. Next time at least bring a wingman along or even better: a chick to serve as a decoy.

Imagine Jan Hooks here as a Deadhead. Those are the ladies that go to the shows I go to.

This video made me think of this one, which has nothing to do with anything but is still hilarious. Phil Hartman was the best.

Let Us Give Thanks

Let Us Give Thanks

It will be Thanksgiving in one hour, Eastern time, and although I’m sitting here by myself, it would be hard to recall the last time I was this much at peace and feeling grateful. I make an attempt to remind myself regularly during the day of all the things I should be grateful for, but tomorrow’s the official day most people in America do it. Usually while gorging themselves on plenty of carbohydrates, starch, and butter and before too long whatever’s in the bar or the wine people brought over.

This is my 49th Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of them. Looking back at what I was doing over the years on Thanksgiving is a wild roller coaster ride involving people, places, ups and downs and usually a turkey. I’ve spent Thanksgiving in all sorts of places around SC, where I’m from, as well as Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, and probably a few locations I’m forgetting. I’ve spent it with Koreans who had no family in the US. I’ve spent it with a pair of lesbians and their adopted children who had no one else to spend it with. I’ve spent it doing charity work, and spent it with huge groups of people and, like I will this year, spent it alone. More often than not during my adult life, I’ve been the chef for Thanksgiving. It’s a job people happily give away, with lots of praise and high expectations to make each dish just like they like it. I’ve reached a point where I can manage a kitchen and cook things for everyone without problems; the trick is in the planning. You have to do a LOT of preparation, but it makes the day much less stressful if you’ve also been tasked with feeding a small army of picky eaters.

I miss my daughter terribly, and I still miss my old dog Annie, but other than that, this Thanksgiving is a perfect day to reflect and give humble thanks for all that has been bestowed upon me. This year is a stark contrast to last year’s Thanksgiving. And I suspect each year’s Thanksgiving will become incrementally greater from this point onward. I have optimism, and I’m grateful for that, and I give thanks for the reasons I can be optimistic.

The reasons I’m thankful are many. Mostly because I now know how dark someone’s life can become, and I’m thankful I have the health, both mental and physical, and wherewithal to take care of myself. Not everyone can do that, as we see each and every day. And I’m thankful not only that I can take care of myself, but that I can take care of my daughter in a way that she deserves. I’m thankful for all the decisions I’ve made over the years that have culminated in where I am now and where I’m headed. I’m thankful for a family that still supports my goals and dreams and cares about me, even though they themselves may not be as healthy and have their own struggles. I’m thankful for the people I work with because a lot of them are rare men and women who are kind, humble and genuine. And they enable me to work at a job I love that makes a difference and is rewarding. I have everything a man could ask for and more and don’t have any wants. Anything that matters, anyway. I have a beautiful, healthy, smart daughter. I thank God every second of the day for her because she’s so special to me. My adoration for her is unequaled by anything else and everything else combined. She’s just amazing to me, which I’m thankful for. I’m very thankful for the opportunities I have in life which have enabled me to work and take care of her.

I’m thankful that tomorrow is going to be better than today and today is pretty great.



Bob Weir & The Wolf Brothers

Bob Weir & The Wolf Brothers

I had the opportunity to go see Bob Weir and the Wolf Brothers perform at the Louisville Palace Theater last night, and it was a memorable experience. I was able to sit in while they did their soundcheck, and had a front-row seat. Doesn’t get much better than that, other than just hanging out with the band, which I don’t know what I’d do, even if I had the chance. What do you say to the guy whose guitar playing you’ve emulated for 35 years that doesn’t come across as absurd?

The soundcheck was fun. He taught the bass player “Passenger” which I found funny. How could he not know that song and be playing with Bob? Even if you don’t know how to play it, he acted as he’d never heard it. May not have, for all I know. I don’t know anything about the Wolf Brothers, and still don’t other than they’re pretty hairy and play a drum set and an upright bass barefooted.

The show lasted 3 hours. That’s a long time for a guy Bob’s age to stand up there and play and sing as he did. He once said he knew he was put on this Earth to make music, and he’s living up to that statement. He carried the whole show, playing both acoustic and electric. All the Grateful Dead songs he played I noticed were played on a stratocaster that had a skull and roses guitar strap. He switched between 2 strats and an acoustic whose make I couldn’t see because of a device on all the headstocks of his guitars, which I think holds picks, even though he grabbed spare picks from the mike stand. So I don’t know what they were. Traditionally, he plays Alvarez acoustics, but you never know. He says he has over 100 guitars.