December 29, 2008 :: Blue Christmas

I used to be a bit of a decorating nazi. There were rules. For a while, everything had to be shabby; flowers, toile and pastel, chippy paint. Then it had to be mid-century: Scandinavian angles and burnished wood. Oh, and then there was christmas. There had to be a real tree, it had to be decorated with matching silver-tone ornaments (or fully decked out with with all-vintage glass bulbs from the 50's), there was no tree flocking, no colored lights, no hanging of pre-made stockings, no tinsel hung from the moldings with care. Oh, that was then, before I realized that life (for me anyway) goes much smoother if I just don't fight the slow creep toward entropy that is constantly building speed in my wake. And with that revelation, I am so free. Now, I place things around the house whichever way seems right at the moment. I buy whatever calls to me from the pile of junk at the thrift store (believe me, stuff calls to me. It's how I ended up on an airplane a few months back with a 1956-version "Visible Man" model, which thoroughly freaked out the Indianapolis TSA employees). And at christmas, I ask Mr. Rainey what he wants to put on the tree.

This year, he wanted blue lights, some of my vintage ornaments, and every mis-matched, kitchy, country-cute tree trimming my grandmother has given me for the last decade. It was glorious.

Granted, I still maintained some control. You'll notice (if you can see little Casio point-and-shoot is on its last legs I think) that the tree is a vintage (reproduction) "tinsel-tree," and if you could see the base, you'd see that its awful metal-slab holder is disguised inside a perfect tin-and-paint 1945-ish christmas tree stand. The only thing missing is a color-wheel, and I'd have had one of those if I'd been able to visit my deceased grandmothers' house before trimming things up.

It's such a breakthrough for me. I only cringed a little when Blake insisted we use the holly-adorned "snow-boot" salt and pepper shakers and hung less than 1/3 of the most amazing, faded mid-century bulbs and bells. (The evan-williams spiked egg nog helped. A lot. )

Now, all I've got to do is prepare myself for the post-christmas decorating requests. He wants a gargoyle on the roof (that one I'm all over). And a big, comfy chair and ottoman in our living room (that one's a space issue. not sure). And concrete "lawn ornaments". (starting to roll eyes) And beer-neon signs (oh no... help) And an inflatable gorilla. (no kidding. he asked.)

As I said. Entropy.



December 10, 2008 :: Happenstance.

Two years and one day ago, to my knowledge, I had never heard the name Blake Rainey. Given that I'd lived in the same town as this person for nearly 8 years, frequented the same dives, seen some of the same bands, and even rented an apartment that overlooked his at one point, it's likely we crossed paths, but fate or karma or the great spaghetti monster or what-have-you did not see fit to make that presence corporeal. The way we met was pure happenstance.

Read on, that that lovely word (a word I've always liked) is going to sound supremely cheesy. Because on December 9, 2006, I walked into a morning-lit bar full of hung-over, bescruffled musicians to have my name drawn out of a hat, linked up with four people I'd never met, and sent off to write a set of original music to be performed, nearly untested, that night in front of a packed-out club. Yeah, the call it "The Happenstance." Egos be-damned, early-morning prickleyness nonwithstanding, creative differences, fuck-off. It could have been hell. It could have been a cellblock meeting with a ball-point shiv. It could have been ten fingernails ripped out and dripped with lemon juice. But boy did I get lucky. I got Kim, and Ben, and Rich (someone I've lost track of, but who was a pleasant dude). Exceedingly nice, exceedingly talented folks who were kind enough to not strangle me with guitar strings for being the obvious weak link.

I also got Blake.

I like to tell people (when they ask me how we met) that Blake pulled my name out of a hat. The rest of the story takes a while and involves explaining both the dictionary meaning and Atlanta music-scene meaning of Happenstance. There was obviously some time and a lot of detail between that first night, playing, that first date at the Local, that day he moved into my apartment, the day we decided to get married, and the upcoming day where we'll get right back on that stage, together, for the first time since then. Just too much to type out right now. Just know that that night in 2006 was one of the most fun nights of my life. And thanks to Blake, now, I've had exactly 730 of the most fun days, nights, mornings, weekends, lunches, mid-days, date-nights, afternoons, dawns and witching-hours of my life, straight.

Now that was a good twist of fate.



December 1, 2008 :: Just you wait a second.

Things that have been going on around here:
  • Mad-dash branding presentations in which I do the work I would normally take 6 months to do, in 2 weeks
  • Indiana visits - 2 in one month
  • Thanksgiving Indian, black Friday pizza, Sunday night post-thanks turkey
  • Wedding planning--cupcakes, hummus, room-measurement, chandeliers, fabric, mailing tubes, secret songs
  • Lots of coffee. And hot chocolate.
  • Gifting showers--kitchen implements, hand-drawn tattoos, spicy sausage, beer and wine with friends and colleagues
  • Christmas plans, expensive plane tickets, handmade present buying
  • Dog jogging
  • General thankfulness
I'll be back in force soon. I promise. But for now, I am slammed and frazzled. Stay tuned.