Hi. Long time, no blog.
It seems like every post I write starts with an apology for not checking in more frequently. Although my last one didn't. It was 17 months ago, and it was written by a guest author. I never intended for it to be this way. Starting a blog seemed like a great idea. All the other kids were doing it, and it gave me an outlet to write about music and movies, something I was interested in pursuing professionally. I'm still interested in those pursuits, but two things have taken a toll on my contributions to this blog: My decision to write for the music blog HickoryWind.org in May 2005, and the arrival of my daughter in December of that year.
Frankly, I'm not sure how much I've been missed here. I think most of my readers are friends and co-workers, and as such they have kept track of my whereabouts in the past two years. The decision to write for HickoryWind has eaten up a huge chunk of my time, but it still has helped me achieve one of my goals; I've posted a minimum of every Thursday since the day I started. But more than just friends have read my ramblings here, and there have been several pleasant surprises. Occasionally I receive an e-mail from someone out there who wants to share information about Texas singer-songwriter Will T. Massey. I got a request to review a CD by a musician in Pennsylvania who was just looking for some honest criticism. That, to me, is the best of what the Internet has to offer: People finding people with common interests or a common need to share knowledge.
I wish I was contributing more to that back-and-forth exchange. There certainly have been things I've wanted to tell you about. Here are just a few:
The woman with the six-pack abs and sexy Australian accent who unknowingly eased my self-doubt about being a new father. It was Memorial Day weekend 2006, and I was out for a long walk with Harper before settling down to watch the Indianapolis 500. As I watched my baby daughter sleep in her stroller, I started to wonder about how I would protect her from all the evil this world has to offer. More immediately, I worried about how I would adequately provide for her. This woman and a man, both in their lat 40s or early 50s, I'd guess, were walking toward us. When they got alongside the stroller, she looked in on the sweet face of my sleeping little angel. The woman then looked at me, smiled and said, "Good job, Dad." Sometimes the smallest encouragement or validation can make an enormous difference. But you still had to hear it to get the full effect.
My joyous discovery that I can get a clean, close shave with lady razors. This discovery, like many of the best ones, was the result of a happy accident. I was out of razors, and my wife's was handy. I gave it a shot, and marveled at results produced by its triple-blade goodness. I asked Sharon to get me a razor just like hers the next time she was at the store. She asked if I'd be concerned about shaving with a razor that said "Lady Venus" on it. "I don't care if it says Pretty Fancy Lady on it," I said, and I've been using one ever since.
Sometimes I'm just hoping to test out a theory and get some feedback. I've reviewed many CDs in the past two years, and thought about many more that I like and dislike. I've come to this conclusion: An album can't be fairly judged until it has been out for five years. What sounds great in the moment might age worse than political comedy. Conversely, an album that doesn't impress upon its release might well grow into a work of art. Thoughts?
Often I've got questions that don't necessarily need answers. When a car thief steals a ride, does he or she adjust the mirrors and seat before driving off, or on the way to where they are going?
Most frequently, though, I just want to reflect on something going on in the world and try to articulate my thoughts. The Virginia Tech shootings were one instance in which I might have liked some time to sound out my thoughts. Fortunately, Sharon was, as usual, the best sounding board a guy could ask for. At a Tech alumnus, she was taking it harder than I was. I hope that in some small way that I was making it easier for her, too. The bridge collapse in Minneapolis last week almost pushed me to write. In the end, though, I couldn't think of anything profound to say. I feel sorry for the families that lost loved ones and for a city that now must commute with the disaster fresh in its mind.
Like the Tech shootings, it shattered my illusion that I was in control of my life. It's a cliche, but it's true: the time we have is precious. I want to embrace life the best I can while trying to avoid dwelling on its impermanence. I hope to stop in and update this site a little more often, but I can't make promises. I've got books to read, albums to explore, guitar chords to learn and a family that needs my love.
I'll try to write more, but I've got a lot of living I still want to do.