Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"the hobo's watch stopped at five o'clock..."

I've had this old Drivin' and Cryin' song stuck in my head the past couple of days. Any of you that grew up in the deep south in the early 90's may remember Drivin' and Cryin' - a straightforward folk/rock band from Atlanta most famous for it's alt country (when alt country was new) tune "Straight to Hell." Or maybe you remember that crunchy guitar riff from "Honeysuckle Blue," or the title track from the album "Fly Me Courageous." Or maybe you've never heard of them at all.

"Let's Go Dancing" has been my song du jour recently, though I can only play it in my head because I have no idea where the actual CD has run off to. I looked the album up on iTunes and was surprised to find that the album release date was January 3, 1991. That's fifteen years ago this month. I admit that I am a little disturbed by this fact. More time has passed since the release of this album than the amount of time between my birth and this album's release. So I'm riding a wave of nostalgia for Kevn Kinney's bad teeth, for Buren Fowler's (even worse) 90's rocker hair, for strumming and singing along to "Let's Go Dancing," for my childhood and for the now-diminished quality of my once-pristine hearing.

Friday, January 27, 2006


As an aside, how could I forget to mention that today is Mozart's 250th birthday??? Take a few minutes today to listen to one of the most brilliant composers of Western music. I recommend the Laudate Dominum from the Solemn Vespers...

it's all about the music...and the beer

This weekend is the Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The Diocese of the Virginia is the largest Episcopal Diocese in the country, and basically this is a big meeting of over 800 priests and lay delegates from the diocese who get together and argue about whether they do or do not agree with the appointment of Gene Robinson (the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire) two and a half years ago. They discuss other stuff, too...but mostly people are either still pissed about the gay issue or they're not.

Anyway. St. James's choirs are singing for the Council's Eucharist service tonight, which is kind of cool - of the hundreds of churches in the diocese, we get to do the music: a half-hour prelude of bluegrass, a Youth Choir anthem for the Offertory, and anthems by the Parish Choir during communion.

So that's my church-nerd news for the weekend. I'm headed down to the Richmond Convention Center shortly to get set up. What I'm really looking forward to is the beer at Capital Ale House after the service...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

i can see clearly now

New glasses finally got here. I'm pretty happy with them. Any thoughts?

Friday, January 20, 2006

exercises in futility

It's an incredibly beautiful day in Richmond, one of those out-of-place January days where the temperature is in the mid-60s and you can sit outside without a coat. Even better, today is my day off.

The huge irony is that I'm stuck sitting on my ass at home. My new dining room table (for which I've been waiting for two weeks) was scheduled for delivery today between 11:00 and 2:00. Sure enough, the truck showed up with my table at 1:30...with absolutely NO hardware to attach the legs. The table now sitting upside down on my dining room floor while I wait for the warehouse to call me and tell me when they're going to come by later this afternoon to finish putting it together.

While I'm waiting, I thought I should use my time wisely and check to see why the new eyeglasses I ordered two weeks ago had not arrived yet, either (they're coming from a frame shop in Nashville). So I called SEE and was put on hold for a few minutes before explaining my dilemma to the girl who answered. The conversation went something like this:

CLUELESS GIRL: "SEE. Can you hold?"
ME: "Sure."

(3 minutes on hold)

CLUELESS GIRL: "How can I help you?"
ME: "Yeah, I ordered some glasses on the 5th, just wanted to check on the status of..."
ME: "Edwards."

(2 minutes on hold)

CLUELESS GIRL: "They're ready, you can come in and pick them up anytime."
ME: "Uh...I live in Richmond Virginia. They were supposed to ship them to me."

(3 minutes on hold)

CLUELESS GIRL: "Yep, you're right. They shipped on the 11th."
ME: "OK...well, today's the 20th and they're not here. I'm just trying to figure out where they are."

(5 minutes on hold)

ME: "Um, hello?"
NEW CLUELESS DUDE: "What's your first name?"
ME: "Chris."
"Hold on."

(30 seconds on hold, probably just long enough for this new guy to curse my name or laugh at my misfortune)

NEW CLUELESS DUDE: "Um...Chris. Can we call you back in a minute, Chris?"
ME: "Sure."
NEW CLUELESS DUDE: "Great. Call you right back."
ME: "Do you have my number??"
NEW CLUELESS DUDE: "Oh. Um...can you give it to us real quick?"

That was about 30 minutes ago.

A table that can't hold its legs, a pair of glasses trapped in a mail package misplaced in some Post Office, and a phone that sits quietly, patiently, waiting for someone to make it ring. But alas: the phone stays quiet, the table keeps lying there, and the clock is counting down the remaining hours (minutes!) of this beautiful sunny afternoon anomaly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

feeling good...maybe too good?

Despite the fact that I was up at 6:00 AM again this morning, this has been a stellar day.

After a whole lot of talk and days of "gym shame" (guilt over not going), I finally made it to the Y for the first time in several weeks. OK, months. Whatever. I've been living through most of the winter thus far with that tired, sugar-hangover feeling all day...but for today, at least, I feel good.

Anyway, my ridiculous sister calls after I get home from the gym, and she can't even talk she's laughing so hard. She's laughing because she's been taking retarded-looking pictures of herself on her iMac (she has one just like mine). Consequently, she thinks she's hysterically funny...which, in fact, she is. Once I see said retarded photos, I too am laughing so hard I'm nearly crying. Inspired, I ask her how I can join in the retarded-image fun...

So behold, unbelievers - see the fruits of our embarassingly juvenile labors...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

global warming and stuff

Another fantastically funny video clip...but frighteningly close to reality, perhaps?


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

up before the sun

Did you know that it's still COMPLETELY dark at 6:15 in the morning? I mean, only the faintest hint of gray on the horizon. Why didn't someone warn me? It was only just starting to get pink and orange along the skyline when I walked into the church this morning at 7:00 to cook breakfast for a young adult men's Bible study that's meeting on Tuesday mornings this month. It was a good morning, but I am now experiencing complete mental incapacitation. I feel utterly "off" and it's not even noon yet. Wait...it's not even 11:00 yet. Ouch.

I tried to write a post yesterday because I actually had something legitimate to write about (none of this whining nonsense about getting up too early). But for various reasons, I ended up staring at a blank screen for too long and had to get on with other things. So I'll save it for later, as I feel incapable of writing anything meaningful in this mental state.

Friday, January 06, 2006

not an auspicious beginning

This morning I played mandolin on the bluegrass tune "Angel Band" for a funeral at the church. The service was for a parishioner who was 41 years old - he died New Years Eve day when he had a heart attack while biking a few blocks from his home. It turns out he was also a W&L guy, class of '86. I didn't know him or his wife or his two little girls, but as I listened to his friends eulogize him from the lectern, I started thinking about all those W&L guys I just spent New Years with. It was far too easy to picture any one of the six of us up there telling similar stories about the good times we had watching football, drinking beer, talking about girls, being in each others weddings.

So far 2006 has brought with it a tone of palpable darkness, at least in this first week: on top of this recent death and funeral, Richmond was stunned by the unspeakably horrific murder of an entire family in their Southside home on New Years Day. In broad daylight, no less. Generally speaking, I am eternally optimistic in spite of my occasional sarcasm. I still feel blessed to be clothed, fed, healthy, and safe. But this year seems to have been born under a bad sign - it isn't the kind of "new beginning" one generally associates with the New Year. But perhaps that's not such a bad thing, as it reminds us that every day can be the start of a new year. Regardless, I can only hope that it will get better soon.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

save it for later

My dog, Scout, was recently given a new bone by Colin. For some reason, Scout has decided that she needs to bury the bone in the backyard every day and retrieve it later in the evening...only to carry it around the house for a while before re-burying it. In and of itself, this is not a problem (except the other night when I found the bone "buried" under my pillow) - it's just curious. She has always been something of a digger, but it's generally random and without purpose. And she certainly has never bothered to fill any of the holes she gouged in the landscape before this past week. I laughed at her neurotic bone-hiding and told her - as if she could understand me - that she was being a little bit ridiculous.

Meanwhile, The Great House Cleanup of Late 2005 has now turned into The Great House Rearrangement of 2006. I'm trying to get myself and my surroundings as clean and organized as possible, moving furniture and throwing things away. I stood in the doorway of my closet staring at piles of clothes, trinkets, papers, hats, belts, shoes, posters, books, and an assortment of other junk, realizing with horrific irony that I am worse than my dog. These things, these objects, are my bones. My closets, cabinets and basement are the holes in the backyard, and I bury as much crap as possible in them...only to dig them out every few months or years just to make sure they're still there before stuffing them, slightly readjusted (read: "organized"), back into their hiding places. Unlike Scout, instead of holding on to one object that I cherish, hide, and rediscover, I have about 500.

I guess I shouldn't have given the dog such a hard time. You know - stones, glass houses, and all that.

Monday, January 02, 2006

resolved not to resolve

I can only think of two times in the past year that I've gotten far too drunk and stayed up past 4:00 AM: one was at Hudson's wedding in October. The other was New Years Eve in Nashville. Somehow this occurence only seems to rear its ugly head when I'm hanging out with those punk W&L friends of mine. We decide to relive our frat-tastic glory days, fall painfully short, and reap the benefits of a magnificent hangover the following morning. Or afternoon. Whatever.

In any case...yesterday's borderline retardation aside, it was a good time. Half the group had to leave mid-day on the 1st, but the last five standing (the Farringers, the Smiths, and I) had some great sushi last night. And we went to see Capote. I learned - for about the 5th time - that Philip Seymour Hoffman is ridiculously talented. I also learned that paying $2.75 in exact change for Mini Tarts because I'm too lazy and cheap to break a $20 for the $3.75 bite-sized ball-shaped 3 Musketeers is a terrible idea, because Mini Tarts have the flavor and consistency of chewable Flintstones vitamins.

So I thought about writing some sort of "year in review" post, or coming up with a resolution or two, but here's the thing: I think I've stopped seeing things in terms of open-and-closed years...there's just too much backstory that needs telling before "A Look At 2005," and too many loose ends that wouldn't get tied up. My favorite little camper (ok, she is now an old woman, but whatever) said it best in her Dec. 30th post - check out paragraph four...and please marvel at the new design while you're at it!

And as for "resolutions," I never keep them anyway. At least not the ridiculously unrealistic ones like, "I WILL start going to the gym four times a week at 7:00 in the morning!" Because that's just flat out not going to happen. I'm thinking of more general things, like "Eat healthier." This wouldn't be too much of a stretch, as cutting out the multiple daily pieces of chocolate would go a long way. Or maybe "Take more time to meditate," or "Read more." It doesn't have to be every day, just a general trend toward more goodness. No idea if that will work any beter, but I'm going to give it a shot.