Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Life As Train II

Ok, if you haven't read my first blog about my life as a train, you might want to do that now.

I got to thinking more about as yet another train rumbles by house, drowning out the TV and shaking the windows.

Last time I mentioned how trains can't go back (like a car) and that this terrified me. While this is true, I have discovered the future scares me just as much. The Past and Future are equal villains in this story.

But on to the Future. Trains can only go where the tracks go, as I previously mentioned. We're all headed to that great Station in the Sky, and our trains don't stop moving. There is no pausing, no waiting, no taking detours. Minute after minute. Mile after mile. We're all speeding for the same place.

While that whole death thing is scary, what is even scarier, is that we're all going somewhere. To be 24 years old and feel completely directionless and aimless is one thing. To be 24 and realize I'm going somewhere even if I don't feel like it is another matter all together. I don't feel as though I'm in control. I'm a freaking undergrad! Yet, my life path is taking shape, and there's nothing I can do about it. We're all committed to one life, one train, one trip.

We can't try different roads or routes, we only get to try one.

I will never be a detective. I don't particularly want to be, however, that option is not available. Isn't that sad?

So my new goal in life is to try and commit to my life. I've only got one shot, and while I can't relay the tracks I've already traveled or slow the train down from heading to... you know where... I can do my best to make my trip enjoyable and successful.

Even if this does scare the crap out of me.

iPod Top Ten

1) "Chief" Patty Griffin

2) "The Man" Pete Yorn (with Natalie Maines)

3) "Sister Jack" Spoon

4) "Buckets of Rain" Bob Dylan

5) "Return of the Greivous Angel" Gram Parsons

6) "The Man Who..." Josh Rouse

7) "It's The Nighttime" Josh Rouse

8) "From the Morning" Nick Drake

9) "Snails" The Format

10) "Useless Desires" Patty Griffin

One More Pic (Because I'm An Idiot)

This is Eliott Morris with me at the Ray LaMontagne show. I didn't realize who is for a good 10 minutes. Then I felt like a total moron!

I'm sorry. I just can't recognize people if I'm not expecting to meet them.

Anyway, he's super-cool and will have a CD release party August 12th at the Workplay Theatre in Birmingham. Everyone should go.

Ray LaMontagne

I officially realized I have the coolest job in Tuscaloosa/Birmingham. I got to go to the Ray LaMontagne concert for freaking free! The show was of course great, and Ray did a fantastic job. The Fruit Bats opened before him, and I didn't really stick around for Guster.

What made the whole night cooler was the fact that I ran into an old friend from high school and her new husband. It was the most random thing ever. We haven't seen each other in years, and then there she is. They loved Ray too, so we got to bond over that. I also saw a cool guy who comes into Oz (the music store where I work) a lot.

One more pic for you to enjoy:

Alabama Theatre

Friday, July 21, 2006

My life as a train

Johnny Cash loved to sing about trains. "Folsom Prison Blues" is a great one. His last composition is a beautiful number called "Like the 309" on his new CD "American V: A Hundred Highways."

Todd Snider has a great song efficiently called "Train Song."

Life as train is a popular metaphor for songs and poetry. However, you almost never hear about life as a car or airplane or zeppelin or submarine. (Though, of course, we all do live on a yellow submarine).

A train is a romantic idea, nostalgic and powerful. Thousands of dangerous or romantic scenes from films took place on trains. Hitchcock seemed to use them quite often. "North by Northwest" "Strangers on a Train" "The Lady Vanishes" Not too mention other films such as "It Happened One Night" and "High Noon" (My personal favorite shot of a train - they lost a camera filming it!)

The imagery in these films is usually quite beautiful, but to be honest the idea of life as train is terrifying to me. After all, as a passenger the major difference between the train and everything else (boat, rocket ship, golf cart, hot air balloon, etc) is the lack of control. Not only are you not driving the train (unless you're a train conductor, in which case I apologize. You may stop reading. You control your destiny), but the train can only go where the tracks go.

We're all so willing to accept this comparison without ever thinking about what all it means. Total lack of control. You don't know where you're going and you can't go back to where you've been.

It's a one way shot. No stopping. No detours. So often, I want to go back to change mistakes, but the train keeps rolling. If life were a car, we could simply turn around or throw the thing in reverse.

But life isn't a car. It's a train.

I'm trying to learn to live with that, but it's pretty hard.

Pete Yorn III

On his "Westerns" EP, there is a song called "The Man" (with Natalie Maines singing backing vocals). I love this song so much I have listened to it almost exclusively for the last few days.

I have decided the song is, wait for it..... yornerful!

I'm so funny!

Reason #1 To Love Joni:

"I am lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid.

Do you remember that time you told me, you said
'love is touching souls'
Well, surely you touched mine
Because part of your pours out me
In these lines from time to time.

Oh, you're in my blood
You're my holy wine
So bitter, and so sweet
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
And I would still be on my feet"

- from "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Free Lunch

I would one day like to be the kind of person who is able (and willing) to buy lunch for all his friends.

Pete Yorn II

Hey It's Pete Yorn and me! Aren't you all jealous?? (Especially you, Brooke!! HAHAHA!)

Anyway, I'm trying to look like I'm not excited, but the goofiness still came out.

What are ya gonna do?

It was really fun. I promise I'm going to get back to regular blogging soon. My life has been crazy lately! But I think it's settling down.

Anyway. Me and Pete. Good times.

(By the way, his show was AWESOME and the new CD drops August 29! Buy your copy at Oz Music... unless you don't live here. Don't you love how I'm advertising on my own blog? I should pay me!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pete Yorn

So in just a few hours, I'll be headed to Birmingham. Why you might ask. Well, I'll tell ya.

I get to go to the Pete Yorn in-store appearance and concert tonight! How freaking cool is that?

Of course, I'll be working, but still... I'm totally stoked. It's Pete freaking Yorn!

Anyway, I've never worked a concert before, so I'm a little unsure of exactly what it is I'm doing. One of my managers will be there, so at least I'll have some amount of guidance on the thing. I'm also thinking that this is a really good act to start out with, because I'm already a fan. I know at some point, if I keep this up, I'll have to work a show or suck up to some artist I don't really like. I am fully prepared for that. (I pretend to like people I hate at the store all the time!) But with Pete, I can honestly say I love his music. How cool is that?

Ok. I'll stop freaking out now. Or at least I'll try to stop freaking out.

Sunday, July 09, 2006



A Prairie Home Companion

Title? I don't need no stinking title...

I've been thinking - dangerous always I know - lately. I was thinking about a class my old roommate Michael talked me into taking. It was interpersonal communication or some crap like that.

Anyway, one day our professor told us about the five (I think it was five) stages of relationships. Basically, there's the meeting, the relationship escalates, plateaus, then eventually ends. At first I thought this was not true at all, but lately I've begun to think of all the friends who have fallen out of my life. Needless to say there's been quite a lot.

Sometimes it's necessary, sometimes not.

What is bothersome is when a friendship has died, but the person keeps reappearing. They keep reappearing because of mutual friends. This results in pressure to keep the friendship going. After all, aren't all those previous years worth it?

Not always. People change. Someone you were so closed to isn't the same person. Can't you keep your good memories and just let the friendship take its course to the grave?

Like a TV show. You can either go out on top (Seinfield, Cheers, Mash, Mary Tyler Moore) and be remembered as a classic or drag it out to painful ends (hello, Friends!)

It's late and I have no idea why I'm posting this. Just needed to think things through, I suppose.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Johnny Cash

American V: A Hundred Highways

Moon Frisbee

I would like to go the moon for one simple scientific reason:

Can a man launch a frisbee into space from the surface of the moon?

It seems possible, and I'd like to be the one to do it. Think about it: very little gravitation, thin atmosphere, no wind. I'm pretty certain that, if standing on the moon, I could throw a frisbee so hard it would leave the surface of the satellite and enter space.

NASA, get up some funds and send me!