January 25th, 2005

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

fun in Kansas City...and gettin' emo about friends

Location: Denver, CO

I had a fun time in Kansas City last night with justamy.  The conversation was interesting and the company pleasant as always.  I was thinking about the nature of our relationship yesterday and it occured to me that she is my longest, continual adult friend.  For a long time, I had difficulty maintaining friendships - it's just not something I do very well, especially when I'm not in forced proximity.  When you see someone every day due to your employment, affiliations, or living arrangments, friendships naturally form and flourish.  I have always had a bad habit of not maintaining them very well when something would occur to disrupt the ease of interaction (someone moves, a change of jobs, etc).  I first met Amy about 8 years ago on EfNet in a chatroom with which we were both affiliated.  Actually, a good deal of people on my LJ friend's list came from the days of #mp3indie, either past or present (ruxxell, lossfound, refused_, ugggh, sinatra, hazlewood, brokenhead81)...  but my friendship with justamy endured through the years when we WEREN'T active on IRC or Livejournal.

And all of this is what makes my friendship with Amy so remarkable to me.  She is arguably one of my oldest and dearest friends and our friendship grew in spite of the distance between us.  Only in the past few months since I have begun training have I been afforded the opportunity to have frequent visits to her home town.  And it is also this relationship with Amy that has made me become a better friend, not only to her, but to everyone in my life.  I don't have many "close" friends, just because that's the way I'm wired.  But the ones I do have, I have begun making that effort to maintain those connections...  my pal Robin, an ex-girlfriend who I count as my best friend; Kevin, who I have known in professional and personal capacities off and on for the past 13 years, we have managed to keep in touch since our last round of mutual places of employment.  And I've also begun rekindling old friendships, like recently with fujerica, through whom I may resume some others as well.  Or with drummerville, whose brother I was very good friends with at one point, but due to my laziness let slip away when keeping in-touch became too difficult.  And of course there are the new friends: late night chats and weekend getaways with atthestarz, plane rides with hockeyfag, bar crawling with democritus and psycat90, coffee dates with spleazeball, eating strange foods with mandy_moon, trips to New York with draysha68 and janietrain, and movie watching and random phone calls from sparklymegz.

I guess I always thought that if the other person didn't share in the responsibility of maintaining the friendship when it became more difficult to sustain that it was some sort of signal that it was time to exit that relationship.  No hard feelings or anything, just time to let it slip away and move on.  But what I've learned is that while it is a two-way street, sometimes one person has to do the bulk of the work for a while because the other person may not be able to for periods of time and sometimes those roles may reverse. Friendships are organic in that they go to whatever level they go to naturally, but like anything organic, they take some attention and care to remain viable.  I hadn't really planned on this entry becoming what it has, but I guess I'm just thankful for the many friendships I have and I cherish each and every one of them. Regardless of depths and strengths of the them individually, as a whole it is the thing I prize most in life and something for which I am extremely thankful and grateful.
i'm ready for my close up mr demille

Minneapolis: Part V - Final thoughts and miscellaneous photos

All in all I had a blast in Minneapolis and I took a slew of photos, nearly 300 total.  Obviously, I can't share them all here and eventually I will get around to putting the entire set online at my website.  As a final entry about my trip, I wanted to share a potpourri of photos I liked that I never worked into the previous entries and sum up my experience.  Since I wrote about this trip in 5 different installments, I also want to let this entry serve as my "memory" of this adventure, so for posterity's sake, here are the links to the four previous installments:

Part I - The day I met atthestarz
Part II - The day I met hockeyfag
Part III - The Minneapolis Shoe Tree
Part IV - Twin Cities From the Air

My last evening in Minneapolis was spent with atthestarz.  She had recently purchased the recent Nirvana box-set which comes with a DVD of super-early stuff before they "broke" on the radio in 1991.  While at times I think atthestarz grew a little bored with it, it was interesting to see Cobain and Novoselic jamming through a set list with Dale Crover in someone's house in 1987...  or some of their early shows at record stores and in small clubs.  I also was treated to my first viewing of the VH-1 show Motormouth.  If you've never seen it, it's basically a hidden-camera show that catches people singing along to songs in their car.

Fucking genius.  It was absolutely hilarious...  mostly because, while some of the things people did were kind of extreme, all of us have done it...  in the car, in front of the mirror, our bedroom a concert stage.  It was one of the funniest things I've seen on Tv in a long, long time.

I want to thank atthestarz profusely for her hospitality.  She opened her home to me and made me feel welcome.  She even got me a birthday card!  She put up with my nervous energy mini-dances, mild zings about her TLC addiction, and idiosyncratic speech patterns for three days.  She even had a pack of Dr. Pepper chilled and waiting for me in the fridge.  She surely knows the path to this geek's gratitude.  Should any of you ever have the pleasure to meet her, I guarantee that, while somewhat quiet and reserved, she is a charming and intelligent woman with a good sense for things which are aesthetically pleasing to the eye - becoming of someone studying the visual arts.  She posseses an earnest graciousness which is readily apparent, always quick to make you feel comfortable, probably a result of her background in psychology.  It's not something she does intentionally, rather, it's a natural proclivity for making one feel at ease; her choice of words, the tone of her voice, and the spirit of inclusion with which she conducts herself. She also has a great, dry, sense of humor, a trait which is the culprit in our late night IM shenanigans and a complete delight when she's not too bashful to let it show in person.  And while she may be quiet and reserved, there are some rare moments when she can get animated and down-right chatty.  I've already remarked extensively on her foxiness... but just in case you have forgotten...


As for hockeyfag... too bad I'm not gay.  He's a total gadget nerd, a former trucker, and an amateur pilot to boot.  If he'd shown up with a bottle of whiskey, a concert T-shirt, and an Ipod filled with interesting indie-rock to listen to I... well it might have been enough to make a man re-consider his sexuality.  Kidding aside, I found him to be a bit of an enigmatic cat befitting his politically conservative, gun-enthusiast, sports-jock with an openly gay status.  Certainly not cut from a very common fabric in the American patchwork, which makes him all the more interesting as a person.  I tend to gravitate toward off-beat people and hockeyfag certainly fits that description.  Don't take it as some sort of back-handed insult...  most people are sheep. It's the people who carve their own psyche and personality indepndent of conventional paramaters that make life interesting.  I can't say that I understand how he could support a political party whose poster boy would call him a "homoseckshool", but I respect the cajones it must take to operate in some of his social circles.  He must catch some shit for it, I would think.  I try to picture a corrollary or converse, say, a soccer-mom showing pictures  to her sewing circle of her march in a gay-pride parade - it just doesn't compute.  That little phrase "subvert the dominant paradigm" that I love so much?  This is exactly what it's about.  Whether it's by design or naturally occuring, it's the bucking of tradition that makes people reconsider pre-concieved notions and forces them to either change the way they think or further confirm their feelings about something.  hockeyfag is a walking, talking contradiction to the pre-conceptions people have about what it means to be "gay", "gun-enthusiast", "conservative", "Republican", "jock", "trucker", "pilot", and whatever other label you want to try and stick on him.  To quote a Primus song:

"To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave". For that I salute him. Rock on fly-boy.

And now I will dispense with the gratuitous and shameless comment whoring from my Minneapolis companions and leave the rest of you with a hodge-podge of photos from the weekend that I liked for various reasons.

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All together, I had a wonderful time in Minneapolis.  I look forward to doing it again some time when it's warmer.  Much, much warmer.