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The ramblings of a Scotch/Irish/Welsh/’Merikan

Tag: books

Real man, real

Oh man. 

So here’s the thing about this blog of mine.  I consider it work.  I’m ok with that, I really am.  Some people would love to go on and on about the beauty of the written word and how blogs let people express themselves in new ways and how print is dead and la la la, but none of that is true.  The bottom line is, blogs are as silly as Facebook and anyone who regularly blogs is just as obsessed with the little icon telling you that you have a new follower or someone left you a comment or you’ve gotten “x” amount of views today.  Its all vanity.  Call it what it is.  Embrace it.  Don’t make yourself look silly by saying you are pouring your thoughts out and you aren’t concerned with your views or likes or whatever.  If that were the case, you would be writing your thoughts in a tattered journal like the rest of us.  

I’m not sure why I switched modes and started scolding the fictitious blogger, but it happened and I’m ok with it.  You know why I’m ok with it? Because this is a blog and it’s not real.  

Speaking of things that aren’t real. 

Have you read The Velveteen Rabbit lately? You should.  It’s a doozy. So many layers! Like onions, or ogres. 

As this blog is not real, and as this blog is work, and as the much anticipated (HA) spring semester of school has started and as most of said semester will be spent doing work on this computer then it is only logical that this blog be updated more as a part of things I’m slightly energized by and as a way to distract myself from doing other work that is not real, but this other not real work will eventually earn me a teaching degree. 

Speaking of MORE things that aren’t real.

One of my favorite stories from my time on the road is this:

So I’m in a swanky hotel with a few guys having just played a Radio and Records showcase with an Artist I used to tour with.  For those of you following along at home, a R&R showcase is when a band performs in a rather large conference room for a maybe 50 or 100 people who all think they are much more important than they are.  The band is usually desperate and the suits audience know it.  So there is a full stage and lights and smoke and the whole shebang set up in this hotel conference room.  The band is expected to go on stage, play three or four songs that all have radio potential, and play them with the same gusto as if they were playing Madison Square Garden.  It’s humiliating.  It’s degrading.  It’s the music industry.

So the band is up there rockin, right? The audience consists of 1) radio program directors from across the country 2) record label stooges 3) interns, dear god the interns, as far as the eye can see.  So. Fucking. Hipster. 4) mid-level positions of both radio tools and record company stooges.  Those are the worst.  A little higher than an intern, but with no power or authority, but always seem to need that blue tooth headset.  

I forgot why I started talking about showcases.. 

Oh yea, things that aren’t real.  

So we play the showcase, and we’re back at the hotel and we’re having some drinks and we’re going on a long tour the next day and we’re having a good ole’ time.  One of the guys I’m with stares off, lost in thought. He sits like that for a bit and then says “this is not real.”  “What’s not real?” we ask him.  

“This whole thing.  Sitting in a hotel, having drinks, being on tour, playing showcases for those people, all of it.  It’s not real.  The second you make all of this your reality, you’re ruined.” 

Maybe the most true thing that I’ve ever heard.  Gave me chills again just writing it.  I wonder if it’s weight translates if you’re reading it right now, or if it was just one of those really important moments that life threw at me one time.  Who knows.  Either way. 

 

I was spending too much time thinking of a clever title, so I canned the whole Title

I about to begin to study for a math final.  Even as I type that I feel a mix of embarrassment and annoyance.  I feel embarrassed often when I’m on campus or when I’m talking to people about being in college.  I know the obligatory response from everyone is “no! good for you for going back!” and so on, but either way, it is somewhat embarrassing to be taking a math class with 19 year olds.  

If I’ve learned anything from college thus far, it’s this: If you want to be a teacher/professor, a doctoral degree supersedes people skills, calling, ability, and effectiveness.  I’ve now had two professors who have proven this, both of whom are close to my age, both with doctorates in their field who both have no business teaching anyone anything.  There should be a rule against going from undergrad to masters to doctorate to teaching.  An advanced degree doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to speak to other humans well. 

So there’s that.  

Tomorrow I will walk out of a math class for the last time in my life.  One of the main reasons I avoided going back to school over the years was because of my disdain for math.  I’ve since had to take 3 math classes.  It’s so much worse than I imagined.  In my mind, tomorrow goes something like this: I finish my test, turn it it, return to my seat, take my pants off, poop everywhere, leave pants in poop seat, walk out of class with both middle fingers in the air and someone hands me a Tank 7 and a cigarette. 

Thats silly of course. You can’t smoke on campus anymore.  

I’ve got a winter break coming up, and son of a bitch, I’m going to read a book that isn’t required reading and has nothing to do with teaching kids.  I’m starting a book club with myself and no one is invited.  At my book club we drink, curse, make fun of people, and skip over boring parts of description.  

For those of you who are appalled that I would skip over long descriptive sections of books, I offer two quick notes.  

1) I overheard some kids at the college last week talking about the new Hobbit movie, and Lord of the Rings and so on.  One of the girls says to the group, “the movies are sooo much better, in the books, Tolkien spends too much time describing things, like he describes The Shire for like 5 pages.”  

To her and others like her, let me respectfully say that you are not smart and here’s why.  If Tolkien didn’t spend so much time describing the Shire, HOW WOULD THE EFFING MOVIE MAKERS KNOW WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE?! How would you know what to picture in your mind while you’re reading.  (I just double checked that I correctly used both forms of “your” and “you’re”) 

and 2) The last book I read top to bottom was David Copperfield in all of its 1000 page glory, so that give me a couple free passes to skip pages from Ivan Doig who I know nothing about and have yet to from an opinion on his descriptive paragraphs.  

Yep. I’m a nerd.

Here’s to pooping myself in math tomorrow!