Sunday, March 25, 2007

have you got nothing to say?

There is a post I am aching to work on, and I talked to Marty about it today, but I am so doped up on allergy/sinus meds that I can not even get it started. So instead, I will fall back to one of the music posts. I did not intend to jump right in with this particular show, but it is the one foremost in my mind, and I know that Gretchen and Aubrey will appreciate it. Besides, I did vow to be unhindered by chronology, and I do not wish to be considered a hypocritical blogger.

The year was 1998, only a few months until I would graduate from college. The “Christian Coalition” was alive and well at OBU, a tornado had wiped out a good portion of downtown Arkadelphia almost a year before, and a little band with three guys had a pretty popular video which featured some sexy little turtlenecks. Now most of the students on our campus thought this was a pretty little ditty, paying nary enough attention to the lyrics to understand that the guy was talking about the painful experience of driving his girlfriend to get an abortion and the numbness that followed. Luckily, by this point I had met my musical soul mates who enjoyed not only this tune but all of the brilliantly beautiful talent, sarcasm and insight that was Ben Folds Five.

Being as we were well into the semester and the concert was on a Wednesday night, we had a pretty quick turnaround time. Aubrey, Gretchen and I hit the road after our afternoon classes and headed west to the Metroplex. I’d like to say we drove straight to Deep Ellum, but Dallas is a bit like the elusive Emerald City… so, in fact, we drove around for a bit trying to get to the gigantic island of downtown buildings we could see clearly but could not for any of our lives figure out how to get to.

Once we finally made our way down to Deep Ellum, we parked the car, put our money in the proper parking slot (remember this part, you’ll be quizzed on it later) and headed over to stand in line for this general admission show. *sidenote* Can we please note the ticket price of $15.00?! Inflation has been a bit excessive over these 10 years…

Ending up with quite a nice spot in line, we began making friends with those in line around us. This comes in quite handy, as we will see later. In particular, there were three people we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know. One of the guys, obviously a Weezer fan, was sporting an Izod cardigan and Buddy Holly glasses. His compadre (and, as we would later learn, bandmate) looked like a mechanic in his Dickies outfit (mechanic’s girlfriend was with him, but her appearance was fairly non-descript, though she was kind and friendly). All was fun and happy banter, until we were approached by a girl who we knew from OBU and her friends (one of which would be mine and Gretchen’s future boss at CD Warehouse). The line had grown to snake-like proportions by this time and they wanted to casually squeeze into line with us. Being high on the enjoyment of new friendships, we allowed them to. We were saps.

Once the line got moving, the chick and her friends were long gone to the front of the stage… and, no, space was not reserved for us. However, we did make our way through the crowd to happen upon our friends Buddy & Mechanic, who graciously moved backward to create space in front of them for us.

Robbie Fulks was the opening act, and other than the fact that both acts were from North Carolina, there was absolutely no connection. Did you know North Carolina is the cigarette state? That’s what we learned on February 11, 1998. That, and opening acts who are getting no audience response because they are completely opposite of the band we are geared up to see should not keep playing encores. Encores must be requested by the audience. If the band is not ready, just get off stage and let us talk to pass the time. Don’t make us give you our obligatory attention. *second sidenote* I have since become a Robbie Fulks fan outside of this context…

So the band did eventually take the stage, and they were fabulous. We sang along with every song, joined by Buddy, Mechanic and Mechanic’s Girl. We watched in smug indignation as OBU Chick handed up to the piano a box of conversation hearts on which she had written “To Mr. Ben Folds, love *first name* *middle name* *last name*. I still get a bit nauseous whenever I see these precious little valentines staples.

So after the amazing concert we headed back to the car in a euphoric fog, and encountered some UT-Austin students in quite a different kind of fog. They seemed to have misplaced their car. After some inquiry, we discovered that they most likely had parked their car in the same lot as ours (they were pretty certain), but were not aware that you had to pay to park there. We suggested they call the phone number on the huge “Pay Here or We Will Tow Your Car” sign, and sho’nuff, their car was at the impound lot.

We circled the city until we found the shadiest part of town, stopped at the most well-lit ATM we could find so the UT kids could get cash for their car, dropped them off at the straight-out-of-an-80s-horror-flick impound lot, turned down the twenty-sixth offer to accept some pot as gratitude for our kindness (they were utterly stunned that we would decline their offer) and wished them luck.

After a night spent at Aubrey’s aunt’s house midway between Dallas and Arka-do-nothing, we hit the road to make it back in time for classes. I was actually going to miss my morning Art in the Humanities class, but had made arrangements to attend Gretchen’s class which was later in the day. As we were running a bit late, we called Raouf to let him know that we would indeed be there (we didn’t want to lose our Teacher’s Pet status). Halaby somehow misinterpreted this message from his beloved students, and we found out later had asked our classmates to pray for us as we were having trouble on the road. Regardless, we eventually made it to class, passed our quizzes with flying colors, and dazzled our professor with our love for and knowledge of art.

Some of the best 24 hours of my life.
The pics are of a lovely little card Aubrey sent me that next week to commemorate the experience. *last sidenote* the head in left corner of the picture is the previously mentioned future (past) CD Warehouse boss... a Quentin Tarantino look-a-like.

Jane be Jane. You're better that way.
Not when you try imitating something you think you saw.
Jane be Jane, and, if sometimes that might drive them away, let them stay there.
You don't need them anyway.
You're worried there might not be anything at all inside.
But that you're worried should tell you that's not right.
Don't try to see yourself the way that others do, it's no use.
Jane be Jane.
You've had it harder than anyone could know, so hard to let it go.
But it's your life and you can decorate it as you like.
Beneath the paint and armor in your eyes the truth still shines.
Jane be Jane.


Suzanne said...

I have that same ticket!!!! i was at that concert, too, with aubrey! weird....

Kimberly said...

For the record, folks: Suzanne was not in a flowery dress (that I recall) and did not - I repeat, did not - pass a box of conversation hearts to Mr. Ben Folds (that I am aware of). Just wanted to preempt any possible confusion.

I obviously have selective memory - and what are the odds that I would click on your blog link from Myles' blog and comment on your post at the same time I have this post up?! A bit Twilight Zone if you ask me...

Ramón said...

Kimberly, I love this post, as usual.

Kimberly, do me a favor and submit something to the BWC. You're one of the most talented writers I know, and that's not flattery.

Kimberly, we need to go to a show together.

aubrey said...

Remember the part where the UT Austin kids kept saying that they left their "baby" home alone and they had to get back there? I kept thinking wow! the devotion to ben folds. I kept thinking, 'they left their baby home alone to come to a ben folds concert'. Turns out that 'baby' was a sugarglider. a flying squirrel. Those crazy kids left a flying squirrel home alone to go to a Ben Folds concert.

That was such a fabulous time!

I miss you lady and I miss your stories.

Kristen Alexander said...

"i was never cool in school. i'm sure you don't remember me.'
...from the song reference...

g to the pizzle said...

you know, i somehow remember every february 11th what i was doing on that day in 1998. but i have to say. . .i'd forgotten about the ut kids and the impound. that was a scaryscaryscary part of town we were in. thankfully he intrepid brought us through it.

and that was no quiz. we had a full-blown test and we studied in the car on the drive back. awesome.