Sunday, April 12, 2015

Doing absolutely fantastic; it's a trained response not a lifestyle

You get off work. It's later than expected when you punch the clock and walk out the door. There are no groceries in the fridge and you've had a take out sort-of drive through week. The late-night super market is an unavoidable realism whether you like it or not. Chances are that you don't.

So you brave the harsh florescent lighting along with the strangest walks of life (possibly known to man) in order to eat. You don't want to be there and neither do they. Once you navigate the confusing layout and anxiety inducing prices, there is the check out. The you-scan is down and you're having to face the clerk who hates this shift almost as much as the rest of their life.

They mutter a 'how ya doin?' or possibly a 'how's it goin tonight?' under their breath as they scan your desperation purchase.

You are now presented with a amazing opportunity. You have been given the chance to completely change the course of history. The next few words out of your mouth could have a deeply important effect on the next few hours of this persons life. So what's it gonna be?

A simple 'alright' or 'ok' will pass the situation, or you could do something very human and brilliant in it's falsity.

You could reply, "Absolutely fantastic, how bout yourself?"
The responses you'll get are surprising. Sometimes it's nothing or a simple 'alright' or 'ok' but every now and then it's not. Sometimes it's "Wow, not that good." Which can make you smile, because you know it's not but for some reason, you sold it. If it makes you smile, it was worth it.

Occasionally there is a very breif moment of nodding agreement as they say 'ya know, not too bad' and their mood seems slightly better. A change in their reflection is made. You manage to prompt a response that actually makes them feel better. This will make you feel good, it makes it worth it.

There is also the rare "Wow, doing that good?" An inquiry which actually requires a follow up. Typically you've put everything you had into just saying 'absolutely fantastic' and there's nothing left for enthusiasm to follow. A plain old 'ya know, hanging in there.' (with a smile, if you can manage) will get you through. There is truth in the statement and sometimes that alone is enough to in fact make you realize you are hanging in there. That's an affirmation and it makes it worth it.

While the idea of replying in such a superlative way seems silly, it is. We don't have enough sillyness in our day. Most things are just as dark as the scene in at the beginning of this page. Most people are just as dim as the description sounded, they could use the brightening just like you could. So give it a shot, you'll be surprised how much it's worth it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pre: The history of Rock'n Roll, the music- not the saying*.

There is a great topic that I've had on my to-do list for a while now. Frequently when a great idea pops in my head it gets written down to re-visit at a later date. This is one I've been hesitant to attack. There are whole books dedicated to the topic. I don't know how it's going to translate to a blog post, or a series of blog posts.

The history of Rock'n Roll.
Didn't Marty invent it? No? Huh.

The amount of research that should go into such a serious topic is daunting. There are a few concrete answers that will arise, but I want to know the background to each. This isn't just a quick article read, it's like the holy grail. The grail itself could matter less to me, it's about the journey.

Arguably, aside from the ease of a google search, there are a few people I could ask and who would supply satisfactory answers. Various different musicians and music fans, some even at scholarly levels of knowledge would provide some sort of response. Yet it would be their opinion. Culminated from years of experience, but it's their version of the history. Their version of what Rock'n Roll means. This is the same reason I don't want to just read another historian's book. It's their findings, presented as they want to.

So what qualifies this amateur blog writer to tackle such an important subject?
Nothing, this is the Internet where everyone is entitled (for better or for worse) to an opinion.

I am simply a product of male-western culture. I like driving guitar and simple lyrics. As a mechanic, there is also the undeniable tie between cars and rock; maybe it's the harnessing of fire to move fast or the simple tie between a garage and the soundtrack that amps you up, makes you move. Either way, these two topics are closely related and very near to my heart.

That intimate relationship is what makes this all so important. Peeling back the curtain to expose the layers behind an entire identity is scary. Could it all be un-founded? A castle built on the sand? I hope not, and I look forward to divulging the rich culture and history to what beats within my veins, Rock'n Roll.

*The saying; at some point in time I picked up saying 'Rock'n Roll' as a positive affirmation. It took the place of 'sounds good' or 'alright'. As I worked as a bartender it was quickly identified as nearly a catchphrase for me. I never meant to brand myself that way but it's undeniably my most over-used phrase. It still strikes people as odd and I'm glad my boss has never questioned it (as I end most phone conversations this way). It's just an embodied statement that says, we agree and look forward to moving onto the next step. There could be a whole post dedicated to my use of 'Rock'n Roll' as a saying

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The numbers attached to your identity, or being 28, 25, 28

I've been 28 for about two years now. Having always been referred to as an 'old soul' it wasn't very difficult being two years from 30 since I've been 26.

If that statement seems confusing, it is. Follow me here.

Twenty Five seems young, it's the age that brings a lot of uncertainty to a majority of my peers. I fall into this category with everyone else. After all, that's the time when I lost my mind, quit my job and moved to a college town (a life-change justified only by my manager replying to my notice with 'I don't blame you, I would too if I were you'). The following time span usually involves a lot of questions without answers and trying to 'figure it out'. I quickly raced past 'figuring it out' into knowing I wanted to bar tend at the tavern for as long as my feet would hold me.

Yet one year ago, I found myself back at 25. As I turned 27 (I know this is confusing, but it's hard being me) I spent my birthday with the majority of the staff from the tavern singing karaoke at the local last-call dive bar near my own. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came to celebrate with me and the mixed emotions that the whole experience already had an expiration date. I knew I was going to be moving back near the home-town but didn't know how or where just yet. I returned to the old stomping grounds to celebrate zombie-Jesus day with my family. My older sister took me out for my birthday that weekend.

"Is anyone else coming?"
"I made a vain (adjective: producing no result; useless.
synonyms:futile, useless, pointless) attempt to invite a few people, so no. It's just us."
"Is there anything else you want to do?" She seemed surprised but open to whatever my plans were.
"If I could do anything I would check out a bar I might want to work at in Ferndale "
"Let's do it."

I could go into detail about becoming a technician instead of brew-slinger where I had pointed myself, but that's besides the point. After moving back, I was quickly back beyond 25 and well into 28 again as I had my head down towards my new garage appointment.  There were actually many times people had asked my age and I had to really stop and think about it before answering. More often than not it was a stuttered, 'uhh 27?' response that confused even me. In the 'feel like a number' society that we live in, it's hard to know exactly where you stand. Even more confusing can be where you are going. If I can say anything about this age, it's be weary of 28 year olds. We think we know something, at least one thing and yet are just as confused as our three year prior peers.