Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Turning 30

I'm turning 30 next month. Or, as The Gays put it, I'm officially entering "Daddy" age and must either be "hot" or submit myself willingly to the tar pits.

I'm pretty ambivalent about turning 30 overall. I'm excited for the future and happy to be moving into an age range where people might not immediately write me off as a chid. But, in general, I'm not too keen on less fun parts of aging, some of which I'm already experiencing (what do you mean I need to take a pill every day for the rest of my life…).

There's an even bigger issue to address than my own fear of aging: what in the hell to do my big 3-0 birthday bash. I think the norm here is to throw an elaborate party where I invite everyone I've ever met to come compliment me on surviving 30 years of being on this earth. Oh, and lots of drinking. Lots and lots of drinking.

But I'm not feeling it this year. I'm not feeling some over-the-top ball designed to massage my ego into to believing that "30 is just the beginning." I'm really OK with 30, but I'm really not OK with hearing dozens of people slur that mantra at me over the course of a night.

Now lets add to the mix that my birthday happens to fall on the Friday that begins Memorial Day weekend. Those familiar with the gay scene in Chicago know that Memorial Day weekend is the start of the Gay Holidays season (otherwise known as "Summer" to straight folk), and is the host to both IML (any link to this event is probably NSFW, so I won't bother trying to find one) and Bear Pride. Being that many of my friends are stoked for one or both events, or are straight and could care less about either one, and that my husband and I enjoy attending events during this weekend, the whole logistics of getting people together to celebrate my birthday is just not a headache I want to deal with.

I mean, most everyone is going to be out and about anyway, right? So I'm not really seeing what the difference would be if they're out "specifically" for my 30th or not. They'll be out, getting drunk, and having fun.

Then there's the people that wouldn't be interested in attending a bar night, for whatever reason. I want them to be able to celebrate with me as well, and an IML party might not be their idea of excitement. And although I'm sure that most of my bar-averse friends would be willing to attend a bar night for my birthday, I'd prefer we all have a good time.

So I'm in a pickle. What to do, what to do? I feel obligated to celebrate my 30th, but I just don't think the standard issue bar-crawl is in the cards for me this year.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Foo Fighters: Reminding Me That I'm Old Enough To Remember The Entire Career Of A 20-Year Old Band. And A Great New Album.

On my (not so) old blog, I mused about the death of Rock and Roll. It seems more and more obvious every day that Rock is now basically a niche music scene. And it is really scary that the only rockers putting out great music lately are well over 55 years old. Not that being AARP-eligible is a bad thing, but we do kind of need some young blood in the mix.

Of course, just as I post about the eminent demise of my favorite musical genre, the Foo Fighters decide to release an album just to spite me and my online opinions.

The Fighters of all things Foo have been a persistent reminder to me over the years of what exactly Rock is suppose to be. And their new release Wasting Light is no exception. In fact, it could be the finest rock record I've listened to in many, many years.

I won't go too "review mode" here, but I will say that the only track that I didn't think was a 9/10 or 10/10 was the remix of Rope on the iTunes deluxe version of the album, but it's not really a core track so it doesn't count.

Even if you were disappointed (and by disappointed, I mean they were just Friggin' Awesome! instead of OMGBestAlbumEvar!!1!!) by the last album or two from The Foo, you should really check out Wasting Light. Don’t just take my word for it though: Entertainment Weekly, Spin and plenty others loved it as well.

The irony of me saying that Rock isn't completely dead based on an album written by late 30-something or 40-something's isn't lost on me. We still need some young, angry, drunken and horny 20-year olds thrashing their guitars and hotel rooms to really reinvigorate the genre. But at least The Foo Fighters haven't started inquiring about retirement homes and live-in nurses yet, and that's a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Dave Matthews Music Festival I Won't Be Attending

I have some great memories of Dave Matthews Band. My friend Mark and I went to see them in Cincinnati and I got a great contact buzz (you had to try really hard to not be in a constant cloud there). In high school, the drum line and I would spend hours discussing the technical genius of DMB's drummer Carter Beauford. A few hours were spent with my old roommate Shae discussing the "risky" move DMB took on Everyday when they took on the daunting and cutting edge sounds of electric guitars. I think I can easily say that DMB was a pretty big thing in my young life.

So when Dave Matthews announced a new touring music festival with a stop here in Chicago, I was pretty excited! Three days of folksy singer/songwriters strumming and crooning, and it's not Lilith Fair? I'm in! I can't wait to hop on the red line to the loop and skip over to Millennium Park for the festivities!

Wait… what do you mean?

Except it's not in Millennium Park. No, Dave and crew thought it would be more fun to host their festival in the super safe and accessible 87th and lakefront part of town. Which is just a short hour and a half trip from my house. And requires riding the Metra. And requires a kevlar jacket with +2 self defense skills and immunity to fear effects.

But it's Dave! And Ray LaMontagne! And David Grey! And O.A.R.! And Ben Folds! And an ungodly amount of weed and booze!

Short Aside

A few years ago, I attended a Live concert at the Riviera in Uptown Chicago. Live is one of my absolute favorite bands and I never had the opportunity to see them at their height of popularity in the 90's. So when I heard they were on tour I jumped at the chance to go.

It's an odd feeling when you see the rock stars of your youth appearing more like dinosaurs in a museum complete with tweed-jacketed observers and completely uninterested children. On one hand, I enjoyed the music and loved seeing them perform on stage. On the other, it was all I could do to not start crying uncontrollably at the notion that not only were my favorite rockers becoming irrelevant, I was becoming one of those pathetic old dudes that still listen to Led Zeppelin albums and harp on about "real music."

Back to the point at hand

I would love to see Ray LaMontagne live and I'll probably make my way to one of shows sometime soon. But it'd be him headlining. Not followed up by Kid Cudi (for realsies?) or Ben Folds, also known as the guy that used to be a really cool musician but has since traded that in for a judge's spot on a reality singing competition featuring Nick Lachey's dimples and the sage advise of a certain performer who gladly wore the moniker of Head Pussycat up until recently.

And I love Dave Matthews Band. But more importantly, I love the memories I have associated with Dave Matthews Band. And while I'm sure they are still excellent performers, I think 3 whole nights of What Would You Say being sung-along to by women who are constantly checking in with the baby sitter and men who are already contemplating the benefits of Viagra might just ruin it all for me. I don't want the good memories to be mixed with the bitter ones.

So thanks, but no thanks DMB. Have fun down there on the South Side, and try not to unload your tour bus waste onto a boat full of people on your way out of town.

Monday, April 11, 2011

And so it begins...

I'm not sure where it came from. One moment I was dancing the night away in a beer-infested excuse for a night club in Cincinnati, flirting with whatever passed as a "cute boy" or giggling with my flock of gays while pretending to be aloof, and the next moment I have a husband and live in Chicago with two cats, a condo on the lake, and a 8 - 5 job deciphering spreadsheets and databases. Somewhere along the way, I was smacked with Adulthood.

Don't get me wrong: I still work damn hard against that villainous advances of Adulthood. I still party, I still drink, I still go out with the boys. But Adulthood is slowly winning the fight.

I use to go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday night, with an occasional drag show tossed in on Sundays for good measure. Now it's all I can do to get to a bar on a Friday night and not yawn my way through conversations, and Saturdays are like my high-holy day of the week made for rest and catching up on Glee and Ru Paul's Drag Race. I use to start drinking and think of what crazy antics I'd get in to that night, but now I start drinking and immediately mentally check that I have nothing on my To Do list for the next day and that we have ample amounts of Excedrin in the medicine cabinet.

Life has changed quite a bit in the past few years. And this is where my lovely Reliquary comes in to play. I've blogged about technology, video games, and politics (and a whole bunch of other crap), but I think my life has finally gotten to the point where blogging about any of those extraneous topics is just too much work. So now I'm just going to talk about my life. Yay for you!

I want to share the quirks, the good times, and all the random oddities that come with transitioning to Adulthood. This will be a personal adventure for me, and I'm hoping that you'll come along and share in it with me.

To be more specific, my goals for this blog are to share stories about my life, observations about the world I live in, and to generally avoid gross dramatization. And I want you to be a part of that by chipping in on the discussion.

Who Am I?

I'm a 30-something Chicagoan, living in Edgewater with my husband and our two cats. I work for a big, national corporation analyzing stuff. Like most of us, that boils down to me finding ways for the company to makes vast sums of money while I take home just a modest portion of it all. It's good work though, so I don't complain… much.

I'm also a musician, a gamer, and a general nerd in hiding. By hiding, I mean that kind of hiding the cat does when he's running from you and hides under the bed but leaves his tail sticking out. Cute, but ultimately not very effective.

I'm also a big music fan, but I'm very particular with my tastes (otherwise known as a "snob," or so my husband says). I'm also very opinionated, but I like to think that I've learned to be open to opposing positions. Unless, of course, it's a stupid position. I've also been know to be very dry and sarcastic.