I think one trait that has developed in me since my divorce is that I'm pretty much a concert junkie. Part of that has to do with all the concerts we ended up missing when we were together. We lived in a town which only had a steady stream of live music during the summer, and a good portion of those line-ups were the same thing year after year (number of times seeing the Steve Miller Band is viewed as a good idea < 1). Getting to other venues was always difficult for us, and what shows were deemed a suitable use of time and money were not easily agreed upon. Concert going, isn't just something that I enjoy, but also a certain relishing in the freedom to do so. The thing is that unlike in earlier days where similar taste in music were bound up as part of my friendships with people, now it's altogether a more individual aspect of myself. Not that there isn't overlap, but it's more coincidental. I still usually put out a call for company when I'm deciding what to go to, and while company might tip the scale of a show that I wasn't entirely sure about attending, I don't let going alone prevent me from seeing a band I really want to see.
Going alone is a very different experience. Perhaps my favorite solo concert was when I saw David Byrne at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. They'd set up chairs across the dance floor, assuming that David Byrne fans are too old to want to be standing. Still, there was open space around the edges, and that's where I found myself. At first it was just me and this couple dancing around like idiots to everything. Old or new, we knew it, and were loving it. We could see the people in chairs standing up like sheep when things like "Burning Down the House" were played, while we were having more fun to the infectious beats of "I Zimbra" or stomping in time to "What a Day It Was." Soon others had joined us, and I was twirling strangers. Quite frankly, I couldn't have had as much fun if friends had joined me. Admittedly, most shows aren't as much fun as that, but I still like the opportunity to decide for myself just how close to the front I feel like pushing to, and how much I feel like letting loose.
Since on the subject of concerts and music, I will put in a plug for Paste Magazine as a source of a lot of new music I've started listening to in the past few years. Through it, I've heard of people like Neko Case, Erin McKeown, Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, Spoon, the Decembrists, Feist, Metric, Jem, and the Hold Steady among many others. Each issue comes with a sampler cd. I mention this mostly because right now they're doing a name your own price for a years subscription. So, it's a good time to check it out.
So between concert and exhaustion, I am a bit behind on my NaNo. So, the first chapter is now written, but I still have two days to make up. I have a feeling I'll stay behind for a while, since this year is going to be much harder to work than last when I had 45 minutes in a train station every evening to work on it. Maybe I'll make up some time while I'm out of town. Sounds silly, but I'll just be crashing with some friends in Vegas, and aside from a trip to see who still works at my old restaurant, my days will probably be a lot of time chilling in their living room. They're the sort of friends you can sit with in silence for an hour, and then erupt into spontaneous conversation on just about any subject. I'm really very excited to be seeing them, and can hardly wait the 18 days until I get there.
In the past couple of months, I have actually started to really enjoy my job. I don't think I ever would have expected that, but it's true. For those who don't know, I work at a collections agency in the department that largely deals with disputes, and contacting our clients (the companies for whom we're collecting). In August, our department's second in command transferred, and a lot of her responsibilities got divvied up. While somebody else got the supervisor aspects of her job, I was handed the major client that she worked on. Usually, everybody works for all the clients, Big Client, however, requires special care, and extra responsibility, and includes a monthly audit of my work. Thus far, I've done very well on the audits, better than my boss had any right to hope for with the amount of advance training I received on it. But even more than that, I've come to enjoy working my contact at BC. We tend to call each other at least once a day when one or the other of us finds something odd. While most of my job is pretty much rote, by the numbers, this gives me a chance to dig through mysteries and find mistakes. I am nothing if not a problem solver at heart. I don't know if this will lead me to stick with this job or something like it (my contact has at least once mentioned how they could use somebody with my eye for things over there) but I'd given myself a two year goal at this job simply to get a bit of distance between me and restaurant work before my next job search, and recent developments allow me an extra buffer of patience at my current position (as well as a little good press in the company).
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