Post-weekend update

Artrageous lived up to expectations and then some. Definitely the most FUN fund-raiser I’ve ever attended. And, I discovered a great local band – Automusik. How to describe this act…I can’t even begin. The old “Sprockets” skits from Saturday Night Live come to mind, but that doesn’t do them justice. Just go look at their website, particularly the links to reviews that have been written about them. And go to their next live show in Memphis. You will likely see me there. Am looking forward to seeing this act in a venue that is not a 90-degree warehouse with poor circulation.

The rest of the acts were good too – Big Nazo, the rock band that wore animal costumes, was really entertaining. But again, the hot warehouse got the best of me and I could only stay for about 10 minutes of their show. Barbara Blue was playing in a better-ventilated section, and I listened to her and drank something called “blue frozen drink” for a while.

Best charity fundraiser I have EVER been to, bar none. There was not one iota of that “stuffy young professional” vibe that permeates most fundraising events. I have newfound respect for the Arts Council and will look to get more involved with them in the future.

Saturday night I went to a party at Stop 345. For me it was like stepping back in a time warp. I saw people I used to see at Red Square and Six-1-Six in 1995. I leaned against a post and listened to the music and people-watched for much of the night, as I did in clubs in 1995. But what I found myself realizing as the night went on was…it’s not 1995 anymore. It just isn’t my scene anymore. Nothing against the organizers of the party, which was very well done (as their parties always are). Nothing against the DJs, who were great. It’s me. I’m a different person than I was ten years ago, when I hung out in clubs 5 or 6 nights a week. After about two hours of it I started to miss my downtown friends. So I left and headed down to Beale Street, to look for them in the bars where the locals usually hang out – the Tap Room and the Black Diamond. When I couldn’t find them, I just decided to call it a night.

After I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking how happy I am with my life downtown. I’ve made a really great group of friends down here the past two years, people I can count on, people I can pal around with, people who really understand me, people whom I admire and respect. I have a coffee shop steps away from my front door where I know all the regulars, and the owner and all the staff. I’m part of a nonprofit organization where I work to make Memphis a better place and meet a lot of fascinating people. I have many shops and restaurants within walking distance where people know me by name. It’s a good feeling.

When I was leaning against that post in 1995, there was an emptiness, an emptiness I didn’t even realize was there. Now, I can look back and sense that emptiness, and also sense that it’s no longer a part of me. I’m now actively engaged in life, instead of simply leaning against a post and watching life go by.

Wow. Deep stuff. If you were expecting the usual crap I write about – the bums, the pigeons, pro wrestling, etc. – sorry.