Saying goodbye to my unofficial home town, my cameras, and Irving’s dignity

It’s been a busy few days for me. On Wednesday I went with some very good friends to see Death Cab For Cutie and Frightened Rabbit in Nashville. Robin and Jerry, mentioned on this blog before, gave me a ticket and a night out in Music City for graduation, a very appreciated gesture after weeks of boredom and near isolation in the country. Robin’s lovely niece and nephew were in visiting from Virginia so I got to meet and hang out with some people my own age for a change. I haven’t really gotten the chance to do that since graduation. We had a good mix of ages that night, and that always makes things more interesting, I think. We ate downtown and then poked around a bit before the concert.
I enjoy Nashville. It’s a unique city with quite a bit to offer. We live about forty or so miles outside of Nashville in a little town that is devoid of anything stimulating. Growing up, if we ever wanted to do anything culturally enriching or even mildly entertaining, we drove into Nashville. I always wished that we just lived there, but my parents are not city dwellers. Somehow I got that gene, and feel rather uncomfortable outside of them for extended periods. The country, I’ve always thought, is nice to visit sometimes, but not where I would like to permanently spend my time. Unfortunately, fate worked against me on this, and city trips were always rarer than I would have liked. I’ve always felt the closest to my element back home when I’m bopping around East Nashville (East Nasty as all the cool kids call it) or the West End. I’m just a hopelessly displaced (for now) city girl who ironically was born to two park ranger types and raised in the woods. The universe has a really sick sense of humor sometimes. This is not to say I would change my childhood at all, but the teenage years were less than desirable.

I digress. The concert was amazing. It was the first time I saw either band live, and I really was not expecting Death Cab to rock so damn hard. I’ve always sort of pictured them in a subdued light. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I never thought they would play so hard. It was fantastic. I also hadn’t realized just how much weight Ben Gibbard had dropped. He looks so different from the Ben of my high school years when I was heavily into Death Cab. That was another nice thing about the concert. It took me back to a happy time for me musically. I only have wonderful memory associations with their music from that time, and it was nice to revel in some nostalgia. The one complaint I had about the show was the venue. They held it in our hockey arena. Bridgestone was just too big and did not suit their sound and vibe at all. I would have much preferred to hear them at the Ryman or the War Memorial Building. The ambiance is more appropriate. I was still glad I got to hear them, though.The show was a good, solid three hours give or take, and we were all beat afterwards. I crashed at my other dear friends’, Laura and Jon’s, house, and for the first time in a while, I slept for nine hours straight. It was heaven.

Thursday morning we all reconvened at Fido, this really interesting and delicious coffee house in East Nashville, for breakfast. Robin wanted to show Josie and Justin, her niece and nephew, around EN a bit before they hit the road back to the sovereign colony. We ate, caffeinated, and then hit a couple of the really great stores down the street. We also got to make a stop in at Elder’s, which is probably the coolest bookshop I’ve ever gotten to visit. They specialize in rare books. One literally never knows what kind of gems one will stumble across. It’s a great place for those, like myself, who could easily drop half a day browsing books, and It’s always a treat to visit. Justin, who is a bibliophile like myself, and I had fun sifting a bit and found some pretty cool texts. He found an old paperback of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and a first edition hardback of Salinger’s Nine Stories. I found a great biography of the Marquis de Sade from the early 1960s. After browsing a bit we all had to part ways, and I had to say goodbye to Nashville. It really felt like more of a definite one this time. I know my visits back home are going to become steadily shorter and less frequent, and Nashville excursions will be rarer and rarer. The music scene is probably what I miss most. Nashville really is amazing for it. Everyone plays there. although, I’m usually not in town for the gigs I really want to see. On a side note, Arctic Monkeys are playing the War Memorial in October. I was very disgruntled when I discovered this as I will be ten hours away. Oh well.

This particular visit, however, did teach me a couple of things. I really need to scope out the music scene in Gainesville, and hopefully there is one. I also need to find a group of people that are of like mind musically with whom I can go to gigs. It’s not fun to go alone, and, really, I have no business being out at night by myself. My mother would be very upset, and I feel like I’ve probably already taken enough years from her life and given her enough grey hairs. I like the opportunity figuring out a new city provides, even if Gainesville is smaller and a smidge less happening than what I’m used to.

I also somehow, between packing and finishing my sewing projects, managed to make the last two plates I will before December. I haven’t played as much with the cameras as I would have liked this summer and couldn’t leave without getting some studio time in. Why aren’t they going with you to Florida, you might ask. Well, the photography department at my school was a bit skittish and lukewarm on the idea of having me use their facilities, something about wonky ventilation and liability issues (cough cough pansies cough cough), and my apartment isn’t so keen on hazardous and flammable substances stored within their walls. Sometimes it is difficult being a wet plate artist in the age of digital.

Anyway, here are the two that I felt at least semi-satisfied with:

My first time playing with black glass.

The skull returns!

I always hate saying goodbye to my art. Guess I’ll be going digital for the next few months.

Friday got insane as the day wore on. Mom and Dad went in to get the rental van to haul all of my shit. We undershot our packing anticipation. A mini-van just wasn’t going to cut it, because I guess I have too much shit. Give me a break, though, I am setting up an apartment for the first time after all. We had to make it work, though, and much grumbling, shoving, squeezing and dumping (my beloved orchids were a casualty of the scale back), Dad (the packing master) made it all work. My aunt who is watching the house while we’re away, and I just stayed out of the way and she soothed my fraying nerves. Thanks, Aunt Ruthie. But once things were snug, and I mean super snug, the fun wasn’t quite over. We then entered what I have dubbed Litterboxgate. Yes, my Irving was making the trek down too, lest we forget. How were we supposed to deal with, erm, well nature. shall we say There was no room for his actual box. Hell, there was not really that much room for Irving. Mom stepped in and rigged a smaller makeshift box out of an actual cardboard box saving my father from attack after his suggestion of leaving Irving until a Labor Day trip down could be made. In the end, Irving spent most of the ten hours sleeping in my lap comfortably and never once had to use the box. All that fuss for nothing, I suppose. I think the indignity of it all might have driven him to become dormant, actually.

You expect me to use what?!

Today we’re going to explore Gainesville some since I can’t move into my apartment until tomorrow. I’ll let you know what I think.

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Filed under Art, Just Me, Miscellany, Music, Photography

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