I don’t know what is with me lately with this reluctance to write. Lots of ideas flow through my head, but the sitting down and getting them written is not getting done. And, I guess even if it does get done they sometimes are missing. I just found a post I wrote weeks ago that never published, so you’ll now read about my cousin Gary 3 weeks late.
My friend Jenni wrote a blog post about why she loves SXSW today. I read it and it did make me get a little bit excited about the week ahead. I also like the long walks and realizing how close things really are, even though I may only walk that much once a year. And I like running into people and meeting people and discovering new music. I wouldn’t be the Brian Wright fan I am today if I hadn’t heard him at a SXSW stage in the middle of the afternoon many years ago.
But I’ll go ahead and bitch and complain about things that most people would love to have to deal with in order to get to experience SXSW each year. Please don’t come back at me with all the good things about it and why I shouldn’t bitch. This is my blog and I’m going to bitch if I want to.
The main reason I dread SXSW and can’t wait for it to be over is because of how hard Mark has to work through it all. The last couple of years might have been a little bit lighter because of the economy, but this year it seems to be back at full tilt. Most of the year, Mark works from Tuesday through Friday at the drum/gear shop and often has to take gear on a weekend and be with a show for 12 or more hours. But when it gets near to SXSW time, he spends longer and longer hours putting gear together for bands and then it is almost a 24-hour-a-day job by the time this Friday is here. Yesterday he went to work about noon and came home at 4 in the morning. I expect today will be much the same. And there is no weekend or Monday off during SXSW. He’ll be working straight through all the festivities. He won’t get to go out and experience any of the bands he’s putting gear together for. He is there through rain and cold and on his feet all night long putting drums together and taking them apart and keeping track of dozens of sets of drums all over town.
My second gripe about SXSW is that my birthday is almost always during SXSW. On my 50th birthday, SXSW started late and I had a whole Sunday before SX to celebrate me! We ate Mexican food and enjoyed the spring weather and walked around the State Cemetery. My idea of a great birthday. Every other birthday is overshadowed by SXSW. On the good side, I do get to celebrate my birthday each year with Ray Benson at his big party and I am looking forward to that because I see many friends that I really like at that big event.
Jenni mentioned the traffic and that is a nightmare for those of us who live here. Last year we had a company part on the east side and, knowing the city and knowing what downtown would be like, I cut way east to make my way south to avoid the downtown streets. It didn’t help. The minute I cut back toward my side of town I was in long long waits for red lights and it was ages before I was back home. This year our company party is in an even more hard to get to place and I have no clue where I’m going to be able to park for it.
A good thing this year is that I am a little bit more secure in my job and know how much I can be gone to go enjoy the festivities and how much I need to be in the office to do my job. That is a good thing to know. I enjoy the day parties and the day music more than the night events, so I will be taking advantage of my schedule and experiencing what I can throughout the afternoons and getting my work done in the morning.
That’s enough bitching for now. I think most of my anxiety over SXSW is my anxiety and has nothing to do whatsoever with the event. I have had some great moments during SXSW, just like Jenni points out, and I am eager to see who I run into and what music memories I come away with when it is over.