Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Boulder, CO

I leave tomorrow for Boulder, CO. Its going to be interesting as the last time I was there, it was mainly ranches and the college and the small strip with the mall. Now its become a city and there's track housing everywhere.
What will I be doing with my time? Well for one I'm going to drop off some press kits with various agents in Denver, Boulder and Ft. Collins for Natty Nation and hopefully set up a tour. I'm going to hang out with Laci for the first time in a while before she and her boyfriend Chris move out to Santa Cruz, CA. I'm also have heard that Keller Williams was going to play out there... so there's a strong chance I'm going to see him play. Also I think we're all down to see the this lil festival at Mishawaka. Beyond that, I'm hoping to have coffee or something with Christina maybe for an hour before she flies off to Hawaii.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I think I'll roam to Rome

So my brother & Val made it out of Colombia... there is a collective cheerful roar coming from our family and friends. As Rome, Italy is far safer and more beautiful than Bogota we are more apt to visit them. Phil and Val sat on the Spanish Steps today and from their new Italian cellphone and called me while they lounged eating a bag of chestnuts as tourists walked by. Phil painted a nice picture in my mind. I'm certainly feeling the urge to go there. They are in the process of signing on a new apartment... and once they get a bit settled in I'm going to take a trip out there.
So little to do and so much time to do it in! No, wait! Strike that and reverse it!

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Things have a way of working out

In 1995, my friend Eric had randomly met this shady sketchball who I trusted about as far as I could throw him and thought that he was good people enough to let him sleep at his house. This guy, "The Rev Wilson," proceeded to steal the credit card numbers of everyone in the house! I was lucky enough not to live with Erik at the time, but he stole thousands of dollars from my friends and a month later, just before the credit card statements came... he was gone!
We tracked him as far as we could via the statements on the credit cards. We lost track of him somewhere around Montana where he'd bought a $500 lemon from a dealership. Nothing he told anyone was the truth... except he told me his parents had disowned him and that he likes Phish... that I believed.
Eventually the summer came and with that Phish tour. We'd made it all the way to Great Woods when I had the thought that we hadn't run into him yet. We'd run into all of our friends, but not him.
As we were waiting for the lot to open, I saw this awesome VW Dune Bug with a patchwork quilt painted over it cruise into the lot early. It had my attention, being the only car open in the lot. I saw her first from a very great distance after they'd parked the car... The moment I saw her, I knew that... well I don't know exactly what I knew, but I knew I wanted to meet her... though distance was an issue. The lot hadn't exactly opened yet and she was far away. Before I could make my way onto the road that would take me close to her my friend Pete shouted that he wanted to take a walk in the other direction. A second after I shouted for him to hang on, I turned around and she was gone.
A few of us had crossed the street to hang out in the shade by this little lake. I went swimming there... kind of a hippie bath... after I came out I met a very wet and happy dog. It had ticks all over it. The dog walked along side me while I asked for tweezers... it didn't need a leash or anything... and after several people showed me copies of tapes from various Phish shows with Tweezer's on them I got a pair and took the ticks off of the dog. My canine companion sped off.
The lot opened up and they were letting all of the cars through.
We piled onto this fat schoolbus. We'd been drinking for a little while now. Guess who turned up in the car right behind the schoolbus. My substantially bigger friend Pete would have torn his head clear off if we were anywhere outside of the Phish lot. We took his pants and searched the pockets. He'd been riding in a car with a bunch of kids... I had no idea who they were, but they were freaked out that we were doing this to their supposed friend. I calmly told them that I didn't know who they were, but that I was about to tell them. I reached into his wallet and found a 8 1/2" X 11" page filled with credit card numbers. He'd hit and hurt alot of people with his little scam. On the bottom were the fresh ones. I set it down on the car and read them off to the kids... who slowly stepped away as they recognized their numbers and realized what was up. Pete was done doing what he was doing with "The Rev" and let him go with a few idle threats, but missing a pair of pants and shoes. I'm not sure if I would have done it the same way today, but I wasn't sure if credit card fraud is a state crime or a federal one, and I'm also not sure if we could have had him arrested in the state of MA.
Anyway, I made friends with all of the people he was riding with. I told them what to do from here on in and what happened to our friends. Then we were on our way. I decided to walk through the lot a bit before heading into the show and this dog jumped up on me... nearly knocked me over... it wasn't any dog, it was the dog I helped out earlier that day and I heard this voice behind me while I was playing with em. "Sorry, he's a good dog" I started to answer that we'd met earlier and then I turned around... and as I knelt down by the dog with the sun in my eyes behind her head... there she was... Christina!
I walked around with her... I tried to remember everything she said to me and for a long time I did. She was just beautiful and relaxed and it made everything around me feel the same way. It'd been an odd day, but I'd forgotten about the Rev completely... I'd forgotten most things of importance except what we were talking about. Eventually it was about time to head into the venue. And then she was gone.
After that, it was a blur. I was travelling in a great crew #phish. We made it to Sugarbush and I kept running into Christina, but we were off just as fast. The last night of tour, I didn't see her at all. The next day, we drove into Burlington to see the city. We stopped at Nectar's for a plate of fries. I went to use the bathroom, but the guy in the stall was taking forever. I was going to leave... Pete came in to tell me that he was going to find an empty stall somewhere else so he took off and I jumped up on the sink and waited.
Maybe it was because my legs didn't quite touch the ground from the sink, but just then the door opened. And it was that little rat The Rev in the john... AND HE HAD PANTS! He tried to shut the door fast. He handed me his wallet right away so I wouldn't beat him up (I would not have really beat him up, but I may have subdued him until the cops came). He had no money, just a sheet of bunk acid he was trying to scam on some kids, so I flushed it. He told me he had the money... he said that he was at Java Love and he'd be there with the money he owed. I let him go, and umm... did my business in the bathroom.
I felt great afterwards and strolled down to Java Love (I knew he wouldn't be there). I stepped inside and scanned the room... I was right no Rev, but there was Christina... now, there was someone I wanted to find... and she had the most beautiful smile. She'd told me about a party in St. Hero for the 4th of July... and I had to go. I couldn't resist, even if the party was lame, I wanted to hang with Christina.
My friends had other plans, so I basically had to convince everyone to go. It was an awesome party. There were: Multiple barrels of Magic Hat #9 on tap and a bit of gas... There were a couple of campfires on the property... A house full of drums... Instruments everywhere... A band in the garage (Fishman on drums)... And Christina!
It was a beautiful night... a perfect 4th of July. We talked around a campfire. There were fireworks... stars... a beautiful girl to share a bottle of tequila... and a very cool crowd. As it goes... I didn't want the night to end.
As dawn broke, my crew was grabbing me to leave... but I couldn't. I didn't want to... because I knew if I left I'd eventually have to head to the midwest and she'd be off to Colorado. It would be the end of it. We'd call and talk and it was hard... because I didn't want to just talk with her and not be able to see her. We met up one other time in Chicago on Halloween. As time stretched on the calls became more and more infrequent... and years have passed... I've gone through a fair share of girlfriends. I guess, I get bored easily or at least that's what I thought. Now I realize that this isn't the case at all... I'm not bored by them, but maybe I'm stuck on someone else.
She's been gone and out of my life for a long time, but she's still the yardstick to whom I compare all others... or at least the idea of her. Its possible that its because I haven't seen her that I've romanticized her in my mind... that she was out there just like me in the dating jungle, meeting people, but ultimately not finding who they were looking for in them. I have no idea.
Last week I saw JMP, I thought about Christina when hanging out with Fishman again and I asked Fishman if he could help me track her down. She worked for their catering company Eat Your Hearts Out. He told me where to find them and wished me luck. As luck would have it, I came across her number while clearing things out of the basement at my parent's house... actually the number was for her Mom's house, where she used to live. I don't know what I would say to her Mom to convince her to give me Christina's number... but it didn't matter because after I'd dialed, Christina picked up the phone. I gave myself a reality check, because she probably doesn't remember me from years ago and she probably doesn't remember a thing about me and I don't want to come off as some guy with a nine year crush. Sometimes butterflies fly away on their own accord and you never see them again... and sometimes you see something that gives off the most beautiful light and you spend your days trying to find it again. As it happens, she answered the phone. She happened to be in town from Hawaii for a family reunion... so I'm heading off to Colorado to see her as part of a long overdue visit!

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

In the Last Week

The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is there for a moment and then leaves you, where as joy is an emotion that can be recalled and you will feel it when you need it. Some weekends leave you with joy that lasts through the week... some weekends you'll remember forever. This was a good one... moments of joy, moments of happiness and moments that will be forgotten.
I went to see Jazz Mandolin Project and Soulive play together at the House of Blues in Chicago on Thursday. I picked up my date, Christie, a free-spirited girl I'd just met a couple of weeks earlier and hadn't really gotten up the nerve to ask out until now. She was lovely and I had a good time, but she came off as a different person than I met that first night. I still can't put my finger on why except that maybe, my first impression of her was wrong. Regardless, I still had fun hanging out with her... it was easy, she was cool... not the right girl for me, but cool.
Anyway, I had tickets and all access passes I was going to see old friends play, dance, maybe take a couple of pictures and hang out! The only drawback is that she had to be up super early in the morning so I drove her home, but I made a quick return to the show. Wait, thats not exactly me being honest... and for the blogsake I'm going to say it... she hit on a friend of a friend, who is now my friend, a very cool girl named Florintina while we were out, but I digress... they'll appear a little later again in the story and the picture will be filled in a little bit more clearly for you, I digress. I made it back in time to catch the end of the Soulive show. And believe me, I never wanted to leave. There was a imp in my head that said to cut her loose, stay with the music, dance and send Christie home in a cab, but the gentleman in me said "You brought her here, take her home." Soulive might be one of my favorite bands of all time.
After hanging with the Umphrey's kids, Vince Iwinski, JMP, Florentina, Kerry and a couple of Vince's friends back in the Foundation Room. I made it around the corner to the backstage area and checked out Soulive to give 'em props.
I chilled in their room for a bit and listened and talked with Kraz about Fire Dept, Clapton, his Birthday and other random subjects... I made small talk with a bunch of people there. I gave Evans a hug and congrats for the birth of his baby. Then I went back to the JMP room where Fishman was chillin' with a slightly different posse of kids. The night went on and on... then it was morning and I made it home to sleep for a couple of hours before work and then took off early to drive up to Madison to get ready for the free JMP show on the Terrace.
My friend Mandy totally helped me out when I got into town and we picked up all sorts of catering for the guys and we went out for sushi @ Wasabi! Then I had to pick up a barrel for our after party. Natty Nation was playing as Dumate, a hip hop/dub side project... and the party was at the band house. The Terrace was great, the show was sweet... I saw a whole bunch of old friends... and then after the show... it was party time. Unlike the JMP/Soulive vibe and the mixing of backstage friends. This was a straight party and the mix between the hippie-jamband kids and the hip-hop crowd worked out beautifully! We had a DJ in the living room and Kyle/Banjer in the backyard hitting some bluegrass. Aaron Konkol even serenaded Jamie and Florinta with the Melodica somewhere around 4am. It was a dope party!
The next day I hung out with Josh in Madison. It was his first time in my city, but the first person we met when we went out to breakfast knew a buddy of his from college... and that's Madison! 1 degree of separation!
The weather was a lil sour... a steady cool rain, so we tailed it back to Chicago. The Chicago Afrobeat Orchestra was playing a late night set at the note. On the drive back I made some phone calls including calling Christie... why? cause I'm still intrigued. I got her voice mail and left a message telling her where I'd be later that night. She showed up... I saw her outside the Note and we went back inside to the show... where she had brought some other date. Ok, so maybe the whole "joy" thing did have a bad side. She must not have gotten my message, or got it and didn't care, or even worse showed up intentionally to slam a door on an open heart... regardless, it sucked. The band was good and I grooved and I tried not to pay attention, but it did hurt a lil and I'm not sure why... but hey, that's dating, right? *sigh*
Moving on... the next day I hit a friend's 4th of July house/pool/BBQ party. On the way to the party fireworks were going off everywhere. It was an awesome drive that kind of reminded me of that scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit where they first enter Toon Town. I had a great time playing pool volleyball out in the burbs. I met some nice people at the party who I hope to keep up with. So there you have it, a good weekend.

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