Throwback Thursday: A Series

May 14th, 2015

I used to save ticket stubs. I started back in the early 1990s. I kept them in a ziplock baggie. I did this for over 15 years.

I’m not sure why I stopped, but I did. Maybe it was when I started having kids and didn’t make it out as much. Either way, the ticket stubs stopped making their way into the baggie and then I lost the baggie. This was an awful realization because these stubs are much bigger than tiny pieces of paper. They’re scraps of memory; tangible strips of emotion.

Sally Mann recently said, “Using photographs as an instrument of memory is probably a mistake because I think that photographs actually sort of impoverish your memory in certain ways.” And I have to agree with her. I started saving these ticket stubs long before we carried cellphones everywhere. You weren’t allowed to take a camera into a show. This was a huge no-no. When you attended to a live show, you simply watched the show. You didn’t snap pictures from your iPhone and then upload it to Instagram proving to a group of people (who ultimately don’t give a shit) that you were there. Back then, you simply watched the damn show. And you listened to the show. And your memories of that show became richer. (At least for me.)

I know. I’m coming off as some crotchety old fart with this crap. And that is a shame. Because I’m also so totally guilty of this. Just last month I found myself snapping pictures while at the Mountain Goats show. Why did I feel compelled to do this? It was an awful shot. And yet I found myself, much later, on a train home, uploading it to Instagram. Why? The answer to that question isn’t, “Because my picture is journalistic!” The answer to that question isn’t, “Because people want to see my shitty picture of John Darnielle.”

The answer is more along the lines of, “Because I want to show people that I was at the Mountain Goats show.”

To which I would ask, “Why do you care?”

I understand why we upload the hell out of our memories. But I also get to question it. I question my motives for doing so. And maybe if I leave the phone at home, I’ll come away with richer memories.

But I digress.

I lost the baggie. Or so I thought. On Sunday, after my latest NYRR race in Central Park, I got home and decided to gather up all my recent bibs. (I save them as well.) I went to add them to an old filing cabinet I used to use for graphic design projects, recipes, and the like. That’s when I saw it, peaking out at me. The pink ziplock baggie!

I dove right in.

You know how when you receive too much stimulation all at once it can be too much and it leaves you feeling vulnerable? That happened to me as I sifted through all my old ticket stubs. I became overwhelmed with emotion. It was too much. So I put them away.

So I’m going to go through it weekly and upload them here. I’ll tell whatever story I can tell about each show (there are movies in there as well); who I went with; what was happening at the time; where I was living; and anything interesting that took place. I’m going to do this every Thursday.

So, without further ado, I give you my first post: Fugazi.

I attended with Missy and my brother Rob. We all lived in D.C. at the time. I walked there from my apartment on 16th Street. It was a chilly December evening.

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An Honest Giveaway. What’s Your Poison?

April 10th, 2015

Hello, guys! It’s been a while. And I’m not sure anyone even visits here anymore. ::crickets:: But I made a promise to the only brand I’ll shill for, and so here goes.

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Because I Live In An Asylum.

March 5th, 2015

This morning I called into The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss my Etsy shop. The segment was called Checking In On the Maker Economy. Etsy was brought up and how they’re going public. So I figured what the hell? I make things and sell them on Etsy. I have a unique product. I am a “Maker”. Let’s do this!

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Elliot Turns Four

March 4th, 2015

Elliot turned four a couple of weeks ago. We decided to have a party for him and invited his entire class. Prior to this year, we’d only ever invited the immediate family.

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Living In The Suburbs Feels Like Waiting.

February 10th, 2015

There are days I wake up and I wonder how it is I got here.

How do I live in the suburbs? How is it I have three kids? Where has the time gone?

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Quick Passing Thought.

January 21st, 2015

“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”

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Friends and Neighbors

January 2nd, 2015

We’ve lived in the suburbs for a little over a year. And it’s ok. I’d be lying if I said I loved it. The truth is, I miss living in the city. I miss it for so many reasons, and someday I hope to tackle them all, but today I’ll stick to one: friends and neighbors.

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Santa: 2014

December 16th, 2014

Try and imagine how much in the way of bribery it took to get Elliot into frame at all. OK, now double that.

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New Year’s Resolutions

December 8th, 2014

For the first time in my life I’m making a couple of New Year’s resolutions. I need to make some changes around here for the health of my brain.

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Miss Kitty Pookum

December 6th, 2014

My kitty died on Thursday. And I’m heartbroken. She was around 21-years-old. She lived with me for two decades and I feel an emptiness that is indescribable. I keep going through the motions of having her here, because she’s always been here. But now she’s not here and every time I realize this, I lose my breath.

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