Jon Brooks was always everyone’s favorite.
Ask my dad. Ask my grandmother. Ask either of his brothers.
Or just ask Jon. I’m sure he will tell you. He’s never lacked confidence, and truth is truth.
I should be perfectly clear I’m not joking about Granny. One day, sitting at a table at one family gathering or another, without prompting, she announced that Jon was her favorite. I’m pretty sure it was my birthday.
Jon truly was everyone’s favorite.
Until now. Continue reading
I do not want to get married again.
Yes, that sounds harsh, but before everyone cancels their RSVPs and returns their gift cards, perhaps I should clarify. The statement “I do not want to get married again” is a true statement, with the key word being “again.” That word, those two little syllables, imply Marriage the Reboot, which, simply isn’t the case.
I had accepted, even encouraged, the thinking that I would be alone the rest of my life. I’d become a hollowed out person, unable to allow anyone to come close enough to hurt me, let alone love me. Sure, I’d date, perhaps even attach a label to it, but I wanted that distance, needed it to survive, even though it was killing me.
In almost exactly one week from this moment, I will be huddled in a hallway with the woman who changed all that, and our small gathering of guests will be listening to a song that captures us. It is not a shock to anyone that it will be a Bruce Springsteen song, but what might escape everyone is just how on the dot the lyrics to “Tougher than the Rest” are.
It is the hackiest way to begin a story (“It was a dark and stormy night”), but in this case, the night truly was dark and stormy, so I guess it’s fair to say a cliché led us to this moment. So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to share my own version of that time-honored story, the one of how a truck ride in Haiti led to a musical night in Nashville.
It will, of course, involve Bruce Springsteen.
There are days in which I feel like Jerry Seinfeld. There are days in which I feel like George Costanza.
Today, a battle with Ticketmaster had all the makings of a Costanza moment (irritation leading to frustration culminating in indignation), but fortunately ended more Seinfeldian (total bemusement while enjoying the absurdity of life).
It started when Ticketmaster appeared to mess up a recent ticket order to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
I didn’t always get along with my dad, and at its worst, I remember listening to this song and thinking this verse summed it all up:
“Now I don’t know what it always was with us
We chose the words and yeah we drew the lines
There was just no way this house could hold the two of us
I guess that we were just too much of the same kind”
Let me tell you about Wilco.
First, though, let me make a few introductions: my name is Kevin. You’re going to get to know me pretty well over the years, but for now, I’ll hit the basics of what you should know: Springsteen. Wilco. Scorsese. Tarantino. Football. Seinfeld. Arrested Development. The Simpsons. Football. When you learn to talk, if you’re remotely familiar with any of those things, we’ll get along just fine.
You see that man over there? Probably not, because although I know little about babies who are about 12 hours old, I’m fairly certain I recall reading that they can’t see long distances. OK, so how about this? The next time the bearded redhead holds you, the one in the Phillies cap, that’s your dad. His name is Cory. I’ve known him a long time, and one thing I know about him more than just about anything else, he’s waited for this day more than you (or anyone) can possibly imagine (realizing, of course, you are 12 hours old and can’t imagine anything right now, but even when you are much much older, the sentiment will be the same).
UPDATED: Dec. 28, 2012
A long time ago (or, actually, two years ago), I would make annual Best Of lists, usually for movies and music, and I loved doing it. I always wanted to include TV shows and books, but I often found myself unable to list 10, and since all good lists come in groups of 10, I would leave them off and be done with it.
Last year, though, I opted for an overarching list that included all things I loved about the year, so I’m now thinking that’s the way to go. Oddly enough, this year, I had a hard time narrowing my TV shows down to 10 – we really are in an amazing era of quality TV. Note: These aren’t necessarily listed in order of favorites or quality.
So, I give you The 2012 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played for more than three hours Saturday night in Louisville, and I got to be one of the lucky ones in the pit, the front section closest to the stage. I managed to get quite a few cool shots before my phone finally died, and for anyone wishing to relive the concert (or pretend you were there), enjoy:
Tomorrow night, I’ll be attending yet another Bruce Springsteen concert, this time in Louisville, as The Boss makes his first Kentucky stop in a decade. I’ll be somewhere on the floor, hopefully toward the front, and, at least on occasion, my thoughts will be with some of my family in the upper section. My mom will be attending her first-ever Springsteen show, accompanied by my sister and two youngest nephews.
Three years ago, my sister and brother-in-law took all three of their sons to a Springsteen show in Nashville, and while I’ve tried for years to explain to people how indescribable an experience a Bruce concert can be, I think my then-8-year-old nephew summed it up perfectly: Continue reading
Last week, I was (as is often the case) in the mood to listen to some Wilco, but not just any Wilco because it had to be just the right Wilco. The wrong album at the wrong time can be a disaster, particularly on those days where the songs need to complement the mood rather than set it; I needed music as an enhancer, not an enforcer.