The End of the Beginning

This is a brand new decade. It can’t be any newer. The one that ended yesterday seemed to go at a traumatically brisk pace. The 1990s seemed to exist way longer than they actually were. This, in part because there was a mélange of cultural moments, styles and ideas that shaped each year and still make them easy to define. This decade? Not so much. Every cultural phenomona seemed to hit at once, and then linger. There were so many things happening, they packed every square inch of calendar space.

The two-thousands are the first decade I can remember from beginning to end with clarity. Most of my formative years- the things that shape your life and set you on the course you’re on now happened. It was a unique time to be growing up, because instead of the glacial change and relative peace of the decade before it, the world seemed to rise and fall just as I hit highs and lows as well.

This decade was a hyper intense cycle of life and death, war and despair, hope and loss and and an overwhelming amount of information coming all at once. So much, I’ve struggled writing this because I don’t know exactly what to include.

It was an insane time to grow up – both good and bad. The wars, the endless stream of controversies, the first two presidential elections are some of the least proud moments – but at the same time, there was the music, the movies, and the people who worked to make this world (and my life) a better place.

I feel privileged to have had a front row seat. I got to form my opinions on a world that was experiencing growing pains just as I had mine. I learned nothing was easy, dreams can die, and things don’t always turn out the way they’re supposed to.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit fatalistic. If I’ve learned anything else: there’s almost always second chances. There are ways to get the things you want. There are ways to better yourself and the world around you.

There’s always the time to dream bigger and make them a reality.

I now know more than ever, this is my chance to.

2009

I felt like Lewis and Clark traveling in a sedan caravan.

I suppose what I remember most about my first excursion this year was that endless stretch of Ohio that bleeds into Pennsylvania – the precipice between the hills that age and become mountains when you cross the border. It’s like watching the evolution of nature with each mile. These memories are at the crux of every road trip. You have the enthusiasm at the get go, then the reward at the end. The middle – that’s where the magic is.

I find myself thinking about these middles a lot more than what bookend them. I think that’s what I like most about traveling – getting there. There’s nothing more than getting to lay your eyes on things you haven’t seen before. Sometimes it’s boring (ie: cornfields) or exhilarating (ie: the Appalachians). I constantly find myself in awe that I’m actually doing it, escaping from my house and making a future for myself. When I was younger, I don’t think I afforded myself that kind of freedom in my head. I had my own restraints. I honestly didn’t think I was going anywhere – nor did I really know I had the power to.

I guess that’s why I do it now. That’s why I’ve been to so many different states (and one other country) in this past year. I’m making up for lost time. I want to experience it now, not wait for some other time that I don’t know that I have. I understand how that may sound morose, but it’s true. I constantly feel I’m working against a clock.

I feel I’ve woven a pretty nice tapestry: Baltimore, D.C., New York City (x2), Albany, Buffalo, Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington, Iowa City, Toronto, Minneapolis (x3), Madison, and Memphis. The problem with this is that I haven’t gone that far West of the Mississippi, but I’m working to rectify that as early as January.

You’ve been a part of these memories – reading, encouraging, experiencing with, filling in the blanks.

Coloring in between my lines.

Richard, THIS is Happening!

While I agree that most of the DirecTV spots involving classic movies can be really entertaining (this, in particular), but the Tommy Boy one is pretty tasteless.

There’s two things that I find offensive: that Chris Farley’s likeness is being used to shill premium television, and the fact that David Spade took the dough to get in another cheap laugh at the expense of his dead “friend”. The emphasis is on “friend” because Spade skipped Farley’s funeral because “he could not be in a room where Chris was in a box.” That’s always sounded like a weak excuse to me. Then he does this.

Knowing that Spade and Farley shared a close personal relationship, and for Spade to accept compensation to depreciate (comically or not) Farley’s likeness comes off desperate, and frankly, in poor taste. I know Spade just had a kid, but he couldn’t possibly need the money that bad. He’s stayed afloat this decade on “Joe Dirt” and “Dickie Roberts”. For Spade, I guess the almighty dollar is more important than friendship. I’m not clear if the Farley family authorized the commercial, or even if they had the power to in the first place. Either way, there are plenty great comedies to choose from. Don’t pick the one with the helpless dead guy.

Even though it’s part of the ‘joke’, Spade says something profound in the commercial:

“Great, I’m here with Tons O’ Fun, when I could be at home watching DirecTV…”

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be with Tons O’Fun.

I kinda miss having the guy around.

Programming Note

I just wanted to issue a quick apology. The site underwent a hiatus for the past month due to a few freelance opportunities that took up most of my free time. Have no fear though, we’re coming back. Currently, we’re editing a rather lengthy piece to put on this site and should be up in the coming days.

So stay tuned, and thank you for your support!

Quotes that have come back to bite me

Pillaging my old LiveJournal today for things I definitely regret saying. Enjoy.

October 11, 2004

I’m really hoping Dos Ambuli is going to get off the ground. It’s got potential. If only we had drums. But if it turns out how we’re hoping, it’s gonna be something really cool. Or I’m just talking out of my ass again.

December 5, 2004:

So I applied at the (ED: FRUIT COMPANY) Store tonight. Online. Yeah. Me. Applied for another job. I don’t think I’ll have any chance of getting it anyways.

February 21, 2005

I think I’m gonna try this low-carb thing.

April 25, 2005

“Make Believe” is a record that may not go down as a classic by any means, but it’s an exhiliarating, refreshing listen from a band that I thought long ago had forgotten what made them popular in the first place.

October 24, 2005

I’m drinking Lemonade Iced Tea from the carton.