Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Plans and Designs

Reading my friend, Kelly's, blog tonight, I am reminded that my school year is coming to an end. Thank goodness. This has been my most trying school year and one that I am most happy to see be through. The problems, the frustrations, the anger, the stress and the resentment of so many hopes and goals fail. I'll be thankful to walk off campus for a good six weeks. As a teacher, I qualify as that blue-blood bleeding heart who wants to do so much, dream so large and want to guide the youth of tomorrow towards success. Those ideals can collapse so quickly when certain links in the chain are so weak and are necessary for being so strong. While I am sure that the problems will be there when we all return, six weeks is enough to unwind and hopefully clear my head to make next year a fresh start.
With that, I need to plan my summer vacation. I am so privileged to work in a profession that allows for so much time off. I say it's needed; others say that I've got it pretty good (both sides are right). I'd like to feed my own soul with some nurishment and intellectually challenging time-fillers.
Concert-wise, I think things are going to be pretty light, but seeing Bruce and the Crowes within the first two weeks of June will be a nice start. I'm sixty-five pages into E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel, a challenging but enticing read about red diaper babies coping with living a provincial life in the 1960s. I would like to follow that up with a couple of good history reads, some things I haven't read in a long time. I plan on hitting the gymnasium pool for morning laps in order to keep in shape. I also plan on becoming a member of the Oakland Zoo and taking my son once a month or so. His vocabulary and awareness of things around him is continuing to develop and grow and I love seeing every new experience of his. I am worried about my ability to be outside much due to such severe allergies. I've lived almost my entire life in Brentwood and this season has been the worst allergy season I've ever remembered. I don't like being so heavily medicated nor do I enjoy always being tired. I also hate sneezing and wheezing and being outside does nothing but exacerbate my body's immuno-weaknesses. I hope things get better in order for my good summer to happen. I can't believe that I forgot our planned trip to visit my father in law in Honolulu. My brother and his ever-growing family may also visit from Philadelphia, which would be wonderful. To see his children and even visit a close friend who just gave birth would make for some great visiting. My wife would like to go on a cruise; I'd rather be thrown overboard.

Was anyone surprised about Elliot being voted off A.I. last night? I was not, though I was bummed to see him go. While I realize that A.I. is essentially a brassed-up Star Search, seeing young people sing (mostly) good music for the sake of starting a career is exciting. Being a musician myself, of course I've wished for something similar to A.I. to happen on some level or another. Seeing Elliot's exit video, last night we saw a truly humble, thankful and gracious young individual. Some people have claimed to have seen some qualities of a young Boss or at least characteristics of subjects of his songs. While I don't fully agree, I do see how Elliot's dream of making it as a singer may just ring true. I think he'll at least make one album, have a hit and possibly even have a career in music.

I've got tickets to the A's/Giants game tomorrow. The gods of baseball are shining on me; Barry Bonds has been in a rut for the last ten days and is one HR shy of tying the Babe's number of 714. Is he going to do it? The gods of baseball history are telling me he is and I will be a witness to history.*

The more I listen to The Seeger Sessions, the more I think that this was THE album he needed to make. In the end, it's the SONGS, not the personalities. The fictitious people who live in the music and their tales are what I relate to more and more. Even pulling out my '03 Pac Bell show and listening to old and new songs in my first concert venue, listening back what I am most drawn to are the stories. In a way, there are thousands of voices and thousands of experiences; one voice just happens to be louder than the rest.

On a final note, I was really glad to see Elliot plug the music and wonderful person of Donny Hathaway; if you haven't ever heard that man's timeless music, you owe it to yourself to sit down and get lost in his songs.