Best Thing I Saw This Weekend

I'm a night owl. Always have been. My dad continually tells stories about how as an infant my parents would put me to bed for the evening, expecting to be woken up several times by crying or the kind of fitful sleep that most babies go through -- only to hear nothing. Worried, they'd come in to check on me -- only to find me happily yet quietly awake at all hours of the night. The only problem with being a night owl really is that once sleep does eventually come -- it's eventually interrupted by the worst boogeyman of them all -- MORNING.
Can I get up early in the morning if I absolutely have to? -- Sure.
Have I gone to great lengths to make sure I don't have to be anywhere at the crack of dawn? -- You better believe it.
My job is open-ended enough that I can roll in anywhere before nine if I want to. Plus, everyone that I work with loads themselves up with 8am meetings for some unknown masochistic reason -- so even if I did show up that early I'd still have to wait for them to finish those commitments before we could get going on anything. So it only makes sense to catch a few extra z's before coming in. Sure I end up staying a little later than other people so I can get my hours in and my work done -- but it's a system that works for me, and I'm lucky enough to have managers who recognize my ability and value my output enough to accept that routine in exchange for the results.
So when my son's little league coach called to let me know that we needed to be at
the field at 7:45 for team pictures, my first response was basically,
"say what!?"
I don't know what it is with these church-going baseball people, but almost everything they plan seems to need to happen far before anyone has a right to be awake on a weekend. Seriously, anything before like 8:30 am in my world still usually belongs to Three Olives or J├Ągermeister.
Do you really want a team picture featuring Coach Vodka standing behind your children?
Still, this was for my son (although he's not exactly what I'd call a morning person either) -- so I set various alarms and tried to get to sleep a little earlier. Then when the klaxons went off the next morning -- shaking me from a particularly memorable dream about steaming up the windows of Air Force One with Esther Baxter (don't ask) -- it goes without saying that I wasn't happy about it.
A feeling that only got worse when I found a text message on my phone saying team pictures been rescheduled.
A text message that incidentally included a little smiley punctuated note about how we could all get a little more sleep now -- a sentiment that was essentially wasted on me and the boy, who were already up and reluctantly stumbling into our uniforms at the time.

The team still won their first game pretty handily -- so I guess it wasn't a total washout, but that victory would have still been just as sweet had I gotten one more hour in the presidential suite with Esther, knammsayin?
Anyways, onto The Best Thing I Saw This Weekend:
Winner: Other Musicians
If you were paying attention to all the band drama from last week, you know that I was all worked up over the chance to join a backing band for a group of rapper/singers who had a series of steady gigs lined up all over town. You also know that it all fell through because of some sort of drama between the rappers/singers and the stoner bass player. But what might not have been entirely clear is that somewhere underneath the rubble of that mess were all the other guys who had agreed to come in and try for a chance to be a part of this thing -- several of whom finally got together Sunday night to mess around and jam.

To be perfectly honest, I haven't jammed with other players in quite a while, so I was a little anxious about how things would go. Not to mention the fact that the organizer of all this was the very same stoner bass player who had so utterly messed up three similar opportunities for me in the past.

And things did seem to be heading in that same direction for a while when the drummer he had scheduled showed up an hour and a half late. But once everything got set up instincts took over and we were able to make some glorious metal-ish noise together. None of us had played together before -- so results were a little sloppy around the edges, but it was a lot better than I think any of us were expecting.

I wasn't able to stay the whole time (it's my weekend with my son and I couldn't keep him up too late on a school night), but the time I was able to spend apparently turned a couple of heads.

Here's the thing -- stoner bass player is the barback at Endo. So he was able to pull a few strings to where we jammed in the back room of the place. But being Sunday night, their regular Poker tournament was still going on. The poker tourney that the club's owner likes to show up at. I've known Kevin for ages -- but what I didn't realize was that Kevin (and all the other guys at the club) had never really heard me play before.

So when the jam was over and I was walking out into the front room to move my gear into the car I was utterly unprepared for the applause that rang out from the poker crowd, bartender Matty, and the club owner -- who then helped me carry my gear out while complimenting my playing and suggesting that I should come back as soon as possible and perhaps turn this whole experiment into a paying gig.

All I did was go in and shred a little. I didn't think people would notice. Or perhaps it's just been too long and I've forgotten just how good that really feels.

The next practice/jam session is already set up for next week -- this time with a singer attached. It's still to early to see where this is all headed, but it's exciting to finally be getting some forward momentum on all of this. And few things in this world match the rush that comes from shredding out at full volume with an audience listening..
Runners up (in no particular order):
  • Freaknik The Musical -- Simply put: Auto-tune is annoying. Especially the way it's overused these days. That Cher song where it first showed up was one of the worst things I'd ever heard in my life. So you'd probably think that I'd have little patience for T-Pain in any form. Trouble is -- it's kinda hard not to like the guy.

    He seems to have a healthy sense of humor about himself, and despite the autotune -- he's got a lot of catchy songs. Add to that his hilarious collaborations with the Gregory Brothers on their Auto-Tune the News series and his appearance in the live action episode of ATHF, and I'm generally inclined to give the guy a pass.

    The way I see it -- as long as you don't take his shtick too seriously, he's an enjoyable distraction. All that being said, I wasn't really sure what to expect when I first heard he was teaming up with Boondocks producer Carl Jones to create a cartoon special about Atlanta's infamous HBCU spring break festival. Would this prove to be too much of a platform for him to make a fool of himself, or would it just fall flat into lame jokes and copycatting, the way that Andre 3000's cartoon network show did?
    Still, I went into Freaknik The Musical with open eyes -- and found myself laughing a ton at it.
    But more than just the humor -- I kinda loved the way the art design reminded me of a cross between Ralph Bakshi's cityscapes from the 70's and the artwork on the back covers of all my Funkadelic albums (a nod that became infinitely cooler once the voices of George Clinton and Bootsy Collins showed up for a cameo appearance) -- and call me what you want, but I liked a lot of the songs too.
    Sure, the part about Little Wayne being Jesus was a little weird -- but considering that
    this was a cartoon that also featured a group of skydiving Malcolm X's (which in itself
    was an interesting metaphor), it's not like weirdness wasn't part of the equation already.
    I don't know -- sometimes it's better to let yourself to get swept up into the mood of something, and enjoy it for what it is. Certainly there was an undercurrent to the story -- a message about a community being pulled in so many directions by it's inherent strengths and all too human weaknesses and how that confusion is so often a target for manipulation and exploitation from all sorts of sources that offered a lot of food for thought.
    And yet to suggest that anything in Freaknik The Musical should be taken too seriously is basically missing the point.
    Like Spring Break itself, it's something to be enjoyed for what it is -- and then left behind as you get back to your lives.

  • My son's magic touch -- Every kid has their arcade game. Some people rock at Skee Ball. Some folks have a natural touch with the game where you have to make so many baskets in a minute. I personally lord over anyone who dares challenge me at Air Hockey -- and I do mean anyone. Old ladies, little kids, incredibly sexy women -- no one gets a free pass on that battlefield (protest all you want, j -- the scoreboard doesn't lie).

    My little boy's personal Jedi skill is the crane game. Give him a couple of quarters and set him loose on that thing and he'll come back with a prize almost every time. It's a rare skill -- especially since those games seem rigged in the first place. Most of the prizes in the bin are too heavy for the claw to pick up, and worst of all even if you're able to snag something -- the claw is set up to where it comes up really fast and hits the roof of the bin at least once, which is usually enough to shake loose anything in it's flimsy grasp. And yet, Curren continually finds ways to win things out of there. Or at least he did before the last week or so -- where he seemed to have "lost the touch" a little bit and couldn't seem to get the results he was normally used to.

    A trend that continued into the weekend while we were at an arcade place called Monkey Jungle, which is sort of a nicer and cleaner local version of Chuck-e-Cheese. Token after token disappeared into the machine with nothing to show for it until his very last chance on his very last token, where he dropped the claw into the bin and pulled back not one -- but three prizes all at once. I know it's just a game and all -- but seeing him walk away from his buzzer beater shot with a literal armload of stuff and a Cheshire Cat grin on his face was nothing short of badass.

  • The Daily Show taking on Chatroulette -- Or perhaps more accurately said, John Stewart's point-perfect take on the mainstream media's shocked response to the kind of insanity that is taking place on the internet.
So all in all, a pretty good weekend. Capped off late Sunday night after coming home from an unexpectedly awesome jam session to find my favorite voice on the other end of the phone. Add that to a little league win, some new music, good times with the boy, and what you end up with is a few days off to be proud of.
So, what were some of the cooler things you saw this weekend?

[Listening to:  Evergreen Terrace - "Failure to Operate" ]


whatigotsofar said…
This weekend, I was in a car driven by my friend Bob and his girlfriend was also in the car. We were going to his girlfriend's apartment building to bring her home so we could have a guy's night out. As we pulled around the building on our exit, we passed this group of young punks in the process of what looked like a drug deal. That was the best thing I saw this weekend.
Bef said…
wasn't the best thing I saw but it was funny and creepy...kinda long I'll try to shorten it.

Saturday (home alone key to the story) kept getting text messages from my niece about the movie Orphan I was giggling the whole time the movie sounds real crazy. Decided to go to bed. She calls to talk more about this crazy movie that I have not seen. All of a sudden you hear this sound like someone picked up the phone and started dialing; she's like tell Dorian to get off the phone all late at night (lol) yea he's not here...her dumb ass was like ooohhh Aunt Beth the Orphan is trying to get we hang up and I call her back thinking let me clear this line I've had my line crossed with someone else's before..we talk more about this dumb ass movie...then we hear the sound of a rotary phone...ok so yea I'm home in a big ass 2 story house alone...then the alarm beeps...this heffa said the Orphan was trying to get me and my sister is in the background talking about quit saying that...this heffa was lightweight scared lmao...if it wasn't for her foolish ass I probably would have been for real scared...

my alarm is having issues with the phone I call the alarm company they tell me to check the main board box thingy that's in the creepy part of my basement...I'm like OK let me take my dog with me...this fool...stays on the landing like yea Ma holla at me when you get back...punk ass dog...lmao

but that was about the best thing that I saw/had happen to me all weekend...I spent most of it in the house trying not to get sick...
JerseySjov said…
i just about died laughing when they first mentioned the Flying Malcolms in Freaknik. and then again when they finally got on the plane and all the dudes were saying little snippets from him. i wasn't expecting much from freaknik but i'm glad i stayed up to catch the replay last night.

i didn't see much this weekend; i'm at my parents' house. unless you count finding a perfect pair of black skinny jeans at h&m...
not sure if you've been by to read about my thursday yet, haha, but it was a good time.

im glad the jam session went well! sounds like it was a ton of fun and maybe opened a door for you :)
The Kaiser said…
The best thing I saw all weekend were all the free drinks on Friday from my friend who's a bar manager on Cap Hill. The worst thing I saw all weekend was my hangover.
Hex said…
WIGSF -- So did you score some drugs? If so you should give some to that cat that's hissing at you in the office. Mello him out a bit, you know?

Bef -- That's funny that the dog let you go out there on your own, like he was just gonna be a witness or something. But honestly, how could you be scared of The Orphan? -- that was honestly one of the lamest horror movies I've ever seen!

Jersey -- The flying Malcolm bit was hilarious, but I also found it interesting that it was sort of a mirror to the whole "Flying Elvis'" bit that they do in Vegas, perhaps suggesting a similarity in the way people view those two icons?

I don't know, people are all up in arms about it -- but I thought Freaknik was hilarious.

Off to read your blog now -- gotta hear about these Thursday shenanigans, lol.

Kaiser -- if you're gonna play the tune, you've got to pay the piper the next morning. But I'm totally with you -- ain't nothing taste better than free drinks.