The month of June is here once again. The Middle of the Year that is 2015. And May is over with. None too soon, as I marvel and wonder at how exactly I managed to survive the goings on of that month. It was jammed packed, the weekends were, the sacred days of when I’m not obligated to go to work and exchange my services for the currency needed to exchange for goods and services. A vicious cycle, that.
But, anyway, the point of all this is to share what the weekends of the last month was, complete with nifty pictures captured on my Android. Let’s reminisce along with your Uncle NecRo, shall we?
A couple of things before we begin: 1) that picture of a dead fish up there was an actual fish I found in the middle of the park in Hooper, Nebraska, when I was walking around one sunny Wednesday afternoon there, thinking about stuff to write about. It seemed random and odd. So obviously I had to get a picture. 2) I’m listening to the self-titled album by White Lighter, one of the bands Stavesacre/The Crucified vocalist Mark Solomon sings on, while I write this. Not too bad, for an indie rock record. You might want to pause right now, purchase the download on Amazon like I did, and listen along while you read this. You know, for the full effect. “Getting into the mind-frame of the writer” and all that. If that’s a thing. I don’t know if it is. Let’s pretend it is, for the sake of this blog.
Ready? Here we go, then:
Weekend 1 (May 2nd): Not too eventful, outside of finally getting to see a showing of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron along with members of the Exalted Geeks. Saturday was the day most of us could find the time to get together. Saw a bunch of the Geeks that I haven’t for a while, and we all went to the Aksarben Theater, which is one of those tragically hip modern type movie theaters that feature, among other things, an open bar and a Blue Bunny Ice Cream counter. I had to partake in a small dish of Peanut Butter Panic. Cost $5, but…I had no choice in the matter. Sorry. As to the movie itself, I expounded more upon that in my review here. Then I went back to the Victorian and called it a day.
Weekend 2 (May 9th): This was the weekend of my cousin’s second-oldest’s High School graduation. It was a bit of a mixed bag, as far as how I felt about this. I mean, on the one had, not only is it a Rite of Passage of sorts for Alyssa (the kid in question, here), an event to be celebrated happily, but it’s also a chance to finally see that side of the family this year (most of them, anyway) without having it be a funeral for once. And there was cake. That’s always a good thing. On the other hand, though, it also meant one more glaring indication that I am getting old. The passage of time stops for no man. Or woman, if you want to argue the point.
If you’ve never been to Palmer, Nebraska, I don’t blame you. It’s one of those middle-of-nowhere small towns that only the Midwest can produce. The kind of town that, if you’re not familiar with to begin with (like I was, despite having lived in a slightly bigger small town nearby at one point in my life), while driving there you begin to think that the town itself does not exist in reality, that it only appears in the light of a full moon, when the veil between this reality and the parallel one it lives in is finally lifted. But, I found it, and made it to the High School in time for the graduation ceremonies to begin.
I was struck by how small the graduating class was. This coming from someone whose own graduating class barely made it past the 50 mark. Alyssa’s own class was roughly half of mine, which says something. Well, not really. If you’ve seen the size of Palmer, then you could probably understand. That didn’t stop the gym itself to be packed with all sorts of people, presumably the family and friends of the graduates. I, of course, sat with my own family, which consisted of an entire row of chairs. The blood runs thick in our family. I was seated next to the two youngest members of their household, so I was more or less obligated to try and make them lose composure and giggle during the presentations. I’ll give those two credit—they were very well practiced at keeping their composure. Although, I they could have obliged with a grin or something, rather than those “who is this oddball, and why is he related to me?” kind of looks I got mostly. Eh, whatever. Made the older kids laugh, and that’s what is really important. I think.
After the graduation ceremony, there was a kind of joint reception put on by the families of three of the graduates, Alyssa’s being one of them. There was the afore-mentioned cake, the requisite tables full of pictures and other memorabilia, streamers and balloons, and a nifty pot-luck style of buffet that was nice. I drank a lot of iced tea, snacked on a lot of fruit, chatted with the various members of the family from all of the age groups, and generally had a very good time just hanging out like that. Then the DJ showed up. They hired a DJ. Which makes sense, really. Problem is, I haven’t been hip to what it is the young’uns are listening too, as I mainly don’t care. For the most part, general pop music is something I don’t mind having to sit through, as I built up a decent brain filter to block the unpleasantness without having to turn into Mr. Music Elite Jerkwad. For the most part. The problem is, there seems to have emerged in the pop music world a mutated abomination that is known as “Hip-Hop Country.” Or is it “Country Hip-Hop”? It doesn’t matter, as this takes the two of my least-favorite genres—Country and Hip-Hop Rap—and creates something that is somehow worse than Dub Step. I never thought there would ever be a style of music that I would consider more unlistenable than Dub Step, but lo and behold, here we have it. And it’s not a situation where a Country artist collaborates with a Hip-Hop Rap artist, either; no, this is where an otherwise Modern Country song has the singer start rapping. And it’s the whitest and most horrible thing that will make your ears sad. So when the DJ broke out the rappin’ country dudes, that’s when I decided to give my final congrats and goodbyes to Alyssa, hopped inside the Aluminum Falcon and bid farewell to Palmer. Until the next one graduates. Here’s hoping nothing worse crops up in the music world by then.
(Part 2 Coming Later)