Tonight our band performs in the finals of the big local music competition. It's us and 5 other bands, whittled down from 36 bands total. All this in the wake of another strange Thanksgiving (A day in which, historically, we give thanks for all the other strange days in the previous year that, now, seem sublime in comparison).
Thanksgiving can always go several ways...but, more often than not, opts for the melodramatic Turkish Twist route (Get it? "TUrkish"? "Turkey"? See...I think put a little bit of thought into this from time to time...okay, maybe that isn't actual PROOF per se...). First, there's the guilt trip that begins after the first calll from a family member asking me to come over for dinner (A dinner that usually occurs at Tea time, not that I honor the "official" time for tea...but certainly a time block more suited for late lunch than full-blown dinner). With fragmented nests all over the NorthEast, it is inevitable that there will be more than one dinner...and, certainly, this isn't an actual COMPLAINT. I realize that there are countless out there presented with NO options during the holidays, but, for now, this isn't about anyONE...it's more about anyTHING...that "thing" being a state of mind that NEVER equals the sum of it's parts, but, for some reason, significantly alters perceptions, emotions and the way Turkey tastes.
Ultimately, I always feel like a tourist. No matter where I end up. Not that I'm some lofty observer or fringe outcast, but I AM getting older. Apparently, the need for roles in a mixed group setting doesn't wane as the hair greys and the back reconsiders, and I find myself trying to either take control of the conversation or, somehow, withdraw completely and help in the kitchen (or, more accurately, the bar. "You've never tried Rum and pumpkin pie? Well, let's put an end to THAT right now..."). The thing that eases the night along is the fact that I can see that most everyone seems to struggle with the same need. Sure, it's nice to be accepted...but these days, it's nicer to be INTERESTING. You may not be surrounding yourself with jerks that will qualify and quantify your life choices, but it would be encouraging to know that, if they did, they wouldn't know HOW to categorize your lifestyle. Not that any of that is REALLY important on anyone's scale...but on Thanksgiving, for a little while, it SEEMS like it's important.
Or maybe not.
I still had a good time. Screw it.
ANYwho (that's for those of you that HATE words like "Anywho")...
Here we go. I've never been in a REAL competition before since this series (2 consecutive wins, now tonight in the Finals). It's nice to know that the judges are looking for an ecclectic final round, as the different sounds represented in tonight's lineup would seem to prove. I'm glad it hasn't been a more-tickets = more-recognition situation, and for that reason, I have faith that we'll do fairly well. Strangely enough, since we started the shows a few months back, I've had a strange inkling that we've already won. It's not a prideful, pompous feeling at all...just a comfortable resolve. It should be fun...and I'm mostly looking forward to the feedback (oh, and SECOND prize of a classic Arcade game cabinet. That too. But mostly the feedback. Yeah. Wicked awesome.)