Thursday, March 20, 2008

A date night with myself.

A date night with myself.

So last night I stayed in, made some popcorn, and watched some movies. Well, watched one movie and re-watched most of another since I slept through portion of it the first time I tried to get through it. This is one reason one should not attempt to start a movie at 10 p.m. after having a few drinks at a friend's friend's birthday party.* It was a much needed reprieve, lemme tell you.

I've mentioned I'm a bit of a social animal, but I don't think it's ever really occurred to me what an aberration I really am. I was grousing about folks missing my DJ sets a few weeks ago when one wise friend said to me, "Dude, I consider myself to have a busy social life, but I don't know ANYONE who is as busy as you are." Then a few days later I saw an old friend who was stupefied that I look, well, almost the exact same as I did when he met me over 15 years ago. And so on.

Folks go out more than me, sure, so I suppose this is all only stunning in light of the fact the folks that go out more than me work in bars or clubs and I don't. And I have no interest in doing so. It's just that I'm restless, and like to be occupied, and the things that make me happiest are music and DJing, so doesn't it make sense I'd do a lot of that when not attending to the responsibilities of the 9-to5?

Then there's the fact that I just like being social. Which, if you think about it is sort of weird, since I tend to always feel like an outsider, no matter what group I'm hanging out with. I'm going to guess that's a holdover from my youth, when I knew a lot of different types of crowds but didn't really fit into any one of them too comfortably. And then, of course, in high school I just took the full-on eccentric kid route.** So this has led to me surfing a number of social circles without actually taking the full plunge into any particular one. I think this is also an unintended consequence of my music criticism -- and, by subliminal extension, my life philosophy -- but that's just the way it is.***

A byproduct of all of this is that I spend so much time feeling driven**** that I forget to reconnect with the one person that should matter most to me ... me! So last night I took matters into my own hands, forbade myself from going out (and believe me when I say I was sorely tempted by the fact Young Josh was DJing The Burlington), and settled in to recharge my battery. And then, of course, I started thinking about all of the above, nearly derailing the whole idea of staying in with myself in the first place, until finally blissfully sinking back into the back of my brain, allowing the sun scarred film stock surrounding No Country For Old Men to lead me to a happier place. Because sometimes spending meaningful time with yourself means spending time outside of yourself.

So now I'm all ready for tonight, Herb's big birthday party! Nothing like taking a brief reprieve only to jump back into the deep end of the boiling, roiling pool all over again.

Anyway, in honor of Herb's big day, and as a sign of my gratitude to you for slogging through the preceding paragraphs' 555 words, I offer this M4A from the world famous Beer Nuts.

M4A: Beer Nuts "Thirteen"

*And by "a few" I literally mean two a.k.a. just the right amount to make you a little sleepy.
**And unlike most folks, I have plenty of witnesses to prove that I was indeed the outcast. At one point I actually had the majority of the school (faculty included) thirsty for my blood. And all because I made some jokes in a column about football players.
***This is not to say I don't feel close with people, I have quite a few folks who are very dear to me. I'm just not bound down by one social group over another.
****I just remembered this. I was talking to a fellow writer and they asked how I was able to just keep chugging along -- keep in mind I post on Chicagoist AND here daily, and contribute to donewaiting as well as various other freelance gigs -- and my only response was that I just do. It's not like I don't get mildly fried from time to time, but I've found the discipline of just committing to writing every day helps me get through those points. At the same time it also creates a closed loop I find it difficult to escape. If I missed posting here on a weekday, for instance, it would feel really uncomfortable for me mentally.

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