Thursday, August 9, 2012

That High and Lonesome Sound

nostalgia can be a son of a bitch.
I was driving home last night and a song off of Gaslight Anthem's "The 59 Sound" and then it went right into a song off of Against Me!'s "Reinventing Axl Rose" and the next thing I know I'm flooded with all these memories about life in Minneapolis about how much I miss the city.
I say this alot... ALOT but its things like this that causes me to think that way. I get down that thinking about it.
I miss my crew of friends and being able to walk down to the CC Club and have no responsibilty further than making sure I get home and rent is paid.
I miss nights shambling around town with the Crew
I miss Anna.
I miss Emily.
I miss Matte.
I miss Holly.
I miss Boston and doing wacky shit like crashing upscale house parties and drink all their booze.
I miss Apartment 310 to Yuma
I miss the ability to catch shows at the Triple Rock any night of the week.
Bowling at Memory Lanes, biking to Dinkytown to relax at the Kitty Kat Club.
Longboarding downtown to work at the movie theater.
I wish I could still do it all.
But nostalgia is a double edged sword. You forget all about the shitty times, such as when I was first living alone in a crappy studio, when my car got broken into TWICE in Steven's Square. Seeing an ex-girlfriend with a new boyfriend while I was at work and no way to avoid them.
The two weeks when I couldn't leave my apartment because I had anxiety attacks so bad. There are many many more that I don't want to remember, even now. Back then all I thought about was how I wanted was to find a nice girl to settle down with and have a kid.
Fast forward, here I sit with exactly that, wish fulfilled.
And as happy as my family makes me I still suffer from "the grass is always greener" syndrome. The thing of it is, I don't really even know if i'd want to hang out with my friends back in the cities now, I want to hang out with them as they were back then.
I'm sure they have all changed, matured, moved on from the crazy shit we use to do. Thats just what happens.
I have too, I'm a home body these days, granted it may be because I'm stuck in the middle of "the dead lands" aka Wisconsin. I don't have the energy to bike all the way into madison to go drink if I have the free time and I definately do not want to drive. I've got tons more responsibility, can't be anywhere close to as free-wheeling with my money as I was back then. But each day always brings something new and is usually entertaining in one way or another.

Longing for the past is something I kind of hate as it puts me feeling shitty.
I enjoy life as it happens but I always count past memories as "better" even when they may not have actually been. I've done this as long as I can remember. I'm one of those people who want whatever they can't have and as soon as they get it, they're onto thinking about the next thing. It's a curse. A bloody awful curse.
Another thing about nostalgia is taking about it somehow implicitly seems to talk down about how your life is currently. This isn't the case. More-so it's that if anything I wish I could combine the best of both worlds. All the things that make life great now plus having all my favorite people from MPLS being around too. Whenever I think of how it use to be, this is always my wish and it makes me sad that it can't happen.

I do very much enjoy where I'm at now and I feel like an asshole expounding on the past as it seems to make seem as though I'm dogging what I've got now. Far from it, just when those songs come on i can't help but drift away to a time when life was simple and I could be selfish.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

WIsco State Fair Fiasco( why I hate Milwaukee)

I never have a reason to ever go back to the Wisconsin State Fair.
It also cemented just how much I despise Milwaukee itself as well.
It took an hour to get drive to Milwaukee and it took us an hour and a half to get from the off ramp to find a place to park.
That should have been the first tip off it was a bad idea to make the trip down.

Firstly,Lucia has been teething with four teeth coming down for the past few days so we weren't even sure if we were going to go to the fair but she was in a semi-decent mood. She held off her nap until we left around 11 am and she slept the majority of the way to Milwaukee, but then we hit THE BACKUP.
It was awful.
Assholes would fly past everyone in the lane next to us then at the last second try to force their way in pushing everyone back. 40 minutes into creeping along at 4 miles an hour some fuckface decided to try to squeeze in between my brother-in-law's car and mine but I wasn't gonna reward this bastard by letting him in while he make everyone else wait even longer. This jerk felt entitled to being let in and when we wouldn't let him in he was screaming at us even as we wouldn't give him a second glance he started yelling at the driver behind me who felt much the same as me.
So finally after dealing with that bullshit we crept along even a while longer while the line of cars waiting to get the fair parking lot had to endure what I can only imagine is THE shortest green light that there could possibly be. We were in traffic so long I had to use a "trucker's urinal", an empty vitamin water bottle to piss in. (A skill I perfected on long trips driving from Minneapolis to visit my mom in Lodi.)
We did catch a break when on the side of the road leading to the parking lot we found an open parking spot for FREE. It couldn't have come any sooner as Lucia was in meltdown mode where anything we tried to give her to soothe her mood only exacerbated the tantrum. I lost my temper from the anxiety of being stuck in traffic for so long coupled with the high pitched siren sitting behind the passenger seat. Two things that caused a perfect storm to make me yell. I felt bad about it but I just couldn't help it.
Anyways, we finally got out of the car and set up the stroller, began walking down the way to the fair grounds. We paid for tickets then it was past Lucia's lunch time so Suzy got stood in line to get an overpriced piece of cold cheese pizza while I found a shady spot to park Lucia so she could eat without being overheated, though with the cold pizza that might have helped.
Since we got separated from Robin and D.J. when we got lucked with that prime parking spot, we tried to hunt them down. We sent texts back and forth as Suzy, Lucia and I began our search for our family. We received voicemails that were so muffled  either of us could make out much of anything was said. It was phone tag at it's most frustrating. Lucia was screaming from either, the booming music, the exploding balloons from some of the midway games, being stuck in the stroller when she really wanted to run around or a combination of all three.
We kept getting stuck between obese families waddling around stopping dead in front of us to wheeze and regain their breathe or eat their 7th cream puff. Then their were the people who would walk against the flow of people and play a game of chicken to see who would move out of who's way. I tended to lose those as I have been brought up with enough manners as to get not be an intrusion when possible. There were the haphazard lines of people waiting to get tickets for rides which were far longer than the lines for the rides themselves which sounds a bit counterintuitive to me. Intermittently we would get a text from Robin explaining where they were though we couldn't find this area they were at for the life of us. Both Suzy and I were drenched in sweat from carrying Lucia or pushing the stroller while dodging rude assholes.
Our last pass through we found the animal barn where we thought Lucia would get a kick out of seeing the farm animals, but much to our chagrin it was packed to the rafters with fuckwads who would stop at the animal cages, stopping the flow of traffic, to taunt the chickens and other caged animals. That was the last straw for the three of us. Little did we know how close we were to finding my in-laws but we didn't find that out until the voice messages came pouring in once we were a few miles up the interstate north of Milwaukee.
Too little too late I guess. Lucia hit her breaking point just as we left the grounds so it wouldn't have mattered if we did end up catching up with the rest of our party, she was just done. Once we got into the car she was passed out cold. Depeche Mode put it best when they said "enjoy the silence".
Lesson learned, don't take a one and 1/2 year old to Milwaukee and you'll have a worse time than usual in the 'beer city"

This fiasco is symptomatic of many of my experiences in Milwaukee. I've been to Summerfest there every couple of years and it never is great when that many people are gathered in one spot, throw in beer gardens and generally bad bands so you get stupidity en mass.
I've gone to Warped Tour many, many years in Milwaukee and it's had its' high moments but more often crappy times.
Roaming around downtown Milwaukee or in the area of The Rave, I've found it ugly and depressing and generally rank.
The only genuinely positive memory of being in Milwaukee is when we camped out in two VW Microbuses on the lakeshore after seeing the Violent Femmes but that was more to do with the people I was with than what the city itself had to offer.

I know I harp on it on a constant basis but Minneapolis has provided me with everything a city like Milwaukee has failed to do on quite possibly every level.
I've never once understood why anyone would choose to call the cesspool of Wisconsin home. I'd hate to be stuck there. Maybe I'm hard on "beer city" but i've found it nothing but a shit-pit. The only thing that Milwaukee has successfully done has reminded me just home much love I have for Minneapolis, even though North Minneapolis slightly reminds me of Milwaukee, that fact can be overlooked since the rest of the city is so damn radsauce.
MKE might be closer but MPLS is much more worth the drive.