Sometimes there's a groove, and sometimes there just isn't. I have this theory that at any given time, there's a place that is the right place for you to be. it's not usually where you'd expect it, either, but if you happen to get there, you've found the groove, and chances are you can ride it for at least a little while before it disappears into the ether. this can happen anytime, but it's more evident, I think, on weekend nights out, when you're not going anywhere in particular. last saturday, after a day wasted on household necessaries like laundry, dishes, world of war craft, and vacuuming, I decided I'd try to salvage my evening by getting my sorry ass up and going to see the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. that was apparently the right thing to do.
which movie, by the way, I loved — but for me the Douglas Adams novels upon which it was based were... formative. I mean, towering literary works that defined my personality and my sense of humor as a fourth grader and beyond. and I thought the movie did the books justice the way the Lord of the Rings movies did Tolkien, so of course I liked it. that being said, I can see why people who hadn't read the books walked out in the middle. what sad lives they must lead!
anyway. I'd found my groove, and the rest of the night, everything just clicked. I decided to go for a beer, and ended up, through a series of random coincidences and for no explainable reason, at a bar I rarely visit on my own — One-Eyed Jack's in the french quarter — and the show going on happened to be a mambo band from colorado, called Cabaret Diosa, who I'd seen years before and loved, but had never been able to catch again. and i didn't even know they were in town till I walked into the show. ran into all kinds of people I knew, had a great time, the music was amazing, and I left just bursting with the kind of irrational exuberance you get from life's ephemeral joys — good live music, pretty girls, and cheap drinks among them. sometimes you just find the groove.
sometimes, there's no groove. this week i found out that melinda, my best friend in new orleans, is leaving town in august, headed for library school in indiana. and I found out that my sister -- who i've only in the last few years gotten to really be friends with -- got into medical school in florida. both of those things are wonderful in their own right, and I'm happy for them both, but come august, I'll be pretty much on my own again.
on a related note, i got set up on a date thursday, with a really attractive, really interesting girl, and we obviously had a lot in common — except for the fact that she's about to move to across the damn globe to Eritrea, and i'm not. apparently even the desolate plains of western africa offer more exciting job prospects than new orleans, which is actually great, because now I can add Eritrea to the list of reasons why I'm not dating anyone at the moment, and hey — not many people can say that.
despite all the wonderful, beautiful things about new orleans, there is a serious downside in that everyone, it seems, leaves — locals andtransplants alike. in moments of clarity, people remember their ambitions, their sharper former or potential selves, and they break free of the lethargic spell this city weaves, catapult themselves out of orbit, and leave. seductive gravity. quicksand. new orleans is a succubus, and I love it as much as it's killing me to stay.
speaking of the dark side of new orleans, I have to say i kind of like the new nine inch nails album. i got it last week when it came out, out of that nostalgic sense of devotion I have to certain bands, something between curiosity and caring about how an artist I once really felt attuned to has evolved, and where I am in my life in relation to that. I know it's cool to bash NIN at the moment, and it's not groundbreaking, but it's not a bad album. I can't relate to trent reznor's angst and rage the way I used to when I was in high school, but the more sanguine emotions, the longing and hoplessness and loss of love, well, I've got a better understanding of those now by far than I did in 1990. It's odd how important music is to me, considering I can't play a damn note of it. At first I thought it was something I'd grow out of, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen anytime soon — there are too many good songs out there waiting to be found. I think maybe I'm on the quest for the perfect pop song, because every now and then I find a song — or less frequently a whole album — that just makes me feel completely content for the few minutes it's playing — just the right combination of words and music that can make me forget all the tedium and stress and everyday bullshit. i can't really quantify what it is, but the common thread between these songs is that they already seem familiar the first time I hear them — not retro or old, but familiar, lived-in, comfortable. when I find one, i play it over and over until I use up all the magic and have to go looking for the next good song. sometimes it takes a few months before i find a good song, but this has been a particularly good few weeks for new releases, and for finding good songs like that. Of Montreal's new album is just full of them, and Brendan Benson's new album starts off with two tracks that I'm having a hard time getting out of my head. oh, and i'm still listening to it, but the new Spoon album seems like it has some winners too.
anyway... till next week.