I’m waiting patiently for it to end. 2006. I haven’t liked this year.
Many of you know why, or at least most of the reason why. It hasn’t been easy dealing with the end of a marriage. Or the beginning of a new life. Or a new-ish life. One that feels different from what came before. But it’s not different. It’s really all the same.
For a year that included some of the worst days of my life, 2006 had four of the best nights of my life. Exact dates sometimes elude me. But I know these dates. Usually I don’t give out too many “specifics” about my life. I hide names and places. I give you pieces. For a year that has contained much difficult solitude (and some good easy solitude), each of these four events involved at least one other person. For a year marked by my ingrained sense of wanderlust, three of these four events took place far from
About two years ago I found an old journal I kept when I was 19 during my sophomore year of college. I hadn’t read the journal in years. I was a journalism major then, switching to psychology eventually. It’s funny how my journal entries were written in the style of a newspaper reporter – the facts, the who/what/when/how and not much of the why. I reported the events of my life in brusque emotionless fashion. A typical Saturday might have gone like this:
“Worked double shift at theater. Went out to Davanni’s on 66th with John Pa, John Pe, Blaine, Brett, Sara, and Michelle K. Brett played We Are The World on the jukebox seven times.”
Reading this “report” of my life another 19-year lifetime later, I knew the rest of the story: Brett was annoyed by the behavior of some “jocks” at another table. To piss them off, he selected the then-new We Are The World as an act of revenge, playing it on repeat seven times because that’s how many songs you get for a dollar. Sara and Michelle K. were friends. We were lucky to have them with us at Davanni’s, the deep dish pizza place in
What’s important here is that it only seems like I leave the most important things out of my blog entries. Look carefully. It’s all there. Or most of it anyway.
My Four Favorite Nights of 2006 (in chronological order but with a decreasing level of detail), written in my traditional journalistic style (or not):
In 1986, Sigmund Snopek III released an album called Wisconsinsane. It was a song cycle about life in his home state. It impressed me and many other Midwesterners at the time for its sweetly nostalgic and poignant piano-based songs that make one half- laugh and half-cry simultaneously. He then pretty much disappeared from music, at least as far as I knew. He never recorded another non-classical album with lyrics. I lost my beloved cassette copy of Wisconsinsane and my vinyl copy sits in an attic in
In May, I was visiting
I was back in my old hometown for a visit and to research a possible relocation there (Note to my current employer: if you find this, I like my job. I’m not looking to go anywhere else. Really. Fight On.) It was a lovely
Anyway, the three of us enjoyed a great dinner on the patio. Eventually it drizzled slightly but the umbrellas protected us. We then drove to the corner of 36th and 43rd. Or is it 31st and 38th? Wherever the Riverview Theater is, that’s where we drove. We saw Thank You For Smoking in the world’s most lovingly restored old movie theater for 2 dollars, maybe 3. It was just a great night, overall.
I had more “first dates” in 2006 than in any other year of my life except for 1997. This is both a good and bad thing. This night was a good thing. Helena and I planned to have dinner at the so-good-it’s-bad legendary L.A. Mexican restaurant El Coyote and then see Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita at the nearby (not so lovingly restored) old movie theater, the
I sure traveled a lot this year. Suffice it to say that I never expected to be wandering the dark streets of
So four memorable nights out of 363 (so far) isn’t so bad, is it? There were other good nights, ones that would easily make the list if I wasn’t restricting myself to four for the benefit of my reader(s). Speaking of memorable nights (or, as The Hold Steady call them, Massive Nights), if you asked me a year ago to predict who would tell me the news of Saddam Hussein’s execution and where the telling of this news would take place, I would never have guessed Debbie Harry and Agoura Hills, respectively.