Life has been amazingly exciting for me lately.
On Monday, while sitting in the office, Mark Spitzer came in to visit. He was looking for Sue Conover, and it seemed rather urgent. We chatted, the three of us (Mark, Myself, and Nancy), and we discussed the new lights he had gotten in for the playhouse. After a rousing Tech Theatre chat, he departed to find Sue.
I had lunch, and I returned. While Nancy was at lunch, Mark came by again. He dropped quite a bomb on us : Mark Spitzer is Leaving DSU. He will be the Technical Director at Augustana instead. We here at Awayken.com (being involved in theatre and having worked closely with Mark) wish him the best on his new job. He told me that I could not put this on the website until Tuesday.
So when Tuesday came, I was ready to tell the world. The site went down. Apparantly, someone in the long line of people that Lazydesert.net depends on had a problem and hadn’t fixed it yet. No post. Let me just say, “Good luck, Mark, and thank you for what you’ve done.”
On Tuesday night, Heather came home. She asked that Jeff and I pick her up from the Sioux Falls airport. He plane was set to land at 9:35pm so we decided to leave a bit before 8:30 while Brandon and Mel watched The Terminator. We cruised at high velocity (but within the bounds of the speed limit) to the fresh tunes of Radiohead, Hail to the Theif.
Road construction soon limited us to a two lane interstate instead of the four lane. In our driving, we came to an onramp where one of the two vehicles is supposed to make way for the other. This always makes me nervous. It made me especially nervous as there was a car trying to get into our lane at our exact spot. suddenly an object comes flying out at us; it’s a bird. With a loud thump, the bird smashed his chest into the top of the windshield and went tumbling behind us. This bird, out of nowhere, came flying towards the vehicle. I don’t believe that that has ever happened to me before. Then I noticed something else – that car. From freak out to freak out, with no one dying except the bird, we made it through into Sioux Falls where Jeff got turned around a couple times. We eventually made it to Ziggy’s (a friend of Jeff’s from Iowa who now lives in Sioux Falls about 2 1/2 blocks from where Jolene was standing) to give him his phone card.
We chatted with his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend (perhaps) and generally took in Downtown Sioux Falls. I don’t believe I’ve ever really walked downtown in Sioux Falls, and I think that I should do that. It seems to be that it would be a good photo session.
We finally got to the Airport (after more wrong turns) picked up Heather (after some ferocious hugs) and began our listening adventure of all the music she brought back. It seems that in the UK you are not allowed to have a bass guitar in your band for fear of making the music less boring. That was my biggest complaint of most of the music. There was a build up, but you never felt it.
You know that song “Hallelujah” that Rufus Wainwright plays on the Shrek album? I guess it was done by a guy who’s dead now. The original was much slower and featured guitar instead of piano. This song we were playing, and Heather was trying to impress the beauty of the song by saying “He’s dead, Miles. Dead.” I still like the Rufus Wainwright version better. I started singing along with the song in an Emo type of way (the song sounded pretty emo) and looked out into the night through the back driver’s side window. Then I hear Heather say, “Oh my God, Jeff, look out!”
This isn’t ordinary for Heather to scream during a good song. I look forward just in time to see and feel a deer smash into the front of the vehicle. Jeff slammed on the brakes and brought the car to a stop. He hit his ambers, and we sat there with the music still going. “Well,” I said, “let’s finish the song and then go check it out.” Jeff made some calls and the Highway Patrol showed up. Their vehicles have strobe lights affixed to the front so that no matter how sober you are, you can’t walk a straight line. They also do this so that if you have epilepsy, they can put you in a seizure and beat you without getting caught. If you want to see the damage (quoted by money hungry GED-flunkï¿½d mechanics as $2500) click here.
We drove home and finally got to bed at around 3am. Wednesday was a glorious day. I have discovered what is known around the world as J-Pop. What is this? Japanese pop music. I hate American Pop Music (and British Pop music, too) but I love weird pop musics. This would include Indian Pop Music (Dahler Mendhi) and, more recently, J-Pop. J-Pop has several shades. They all seem to have an underlying Techno backbone; some of them go more in the 80’s Techno direction and others take the American Top 40 route.
Jeff got an album by a band called “Initial D” which is more the 80s route. Every one of their songs sounds like the exact same Anime hyper-dance music. So, if you love one of their songs, you’ll love all of their songs. I still have to go through it all. I must leave no eclectic rock unturned.
Jeff also got a collection of music videos. He got a large collection of them (and we haven’t watched all of them yet) by an artist known as Ayumi Hamasaki. She seems to be a rather demure type of girl. Her videos are more thoughtful than they are energetic and exciting. Some of the effects are cheesy, but a lot of the angles are artistic, and so they cancel in a weird way.
The other artist he got only had one video, but I’m in love, folks. Maybe it’s just that I want to love J-Pop so much or that it was the first video we saw, but I may start learning Japanese. Her name is Hitomi Shimatani (or as I like to call her, Hottie Hitomi). She wowed me with her song “Ichiba ni Ikou” which appears to be a love song. There are lyrics here. Her official site doesn’t give me a whole lot to go on considering I have no concept of Japanese. Here’s what I’m hoping – she’s single, 20, and coming to South Dakota to find a boyfriend she can spend lots of money (USD, thank you) on.
So, until she answers my emails or comes to her senses, I’ll wait here patiently. I can wow her with my guitar skills. Actually playing music is something none of her Japanese beaus have on me. It’s like Jeff said, “He can’t be Japanese; he’s playing an instrument.” Nice one, Jeff. You just insulted an entire island nation, and you did a damn good job at it.