There are some good things about having a nostalgic temperament. You have a sense of heritage, of place, of history. You can connect where you’ve been to where you are. You treasure things.
There are some things less desirable. You have a hard time letting go. You romanticize the past. You may not always embrace change. You may not treasure “the now.”
Often, looking back thwarts the ability to move forward. So that’s why today is the last day for new posts on Nashville Confidential.
Mapgirl Dark Secret #1 (at least this week): I don’t live there any more, and I have struggled mightily with that fact. I chose to move away, and there were benefits to that decision. There also were some hard realities.
I wasn’t sure what to do with this weblog. So I kept a kind of double life, at times looking back to the point of breaking my own neck (prime example of this behavior: Lot’s wife). It has taken me about a year to come to terms with what it has meant to move on from Nashville. I have a great life in another place, and it deserves my full attention.
This weblog started as something just for my family, but my circle of friends has grown because of it. I have met some amazing people because of the weblog, and that has been such a blessing. I read some amazing weblogs because of those people, and that’s not going to end.
I am not shutting down this URL, so you’re welcome to come back. And I do hope you’ll continue to point people here, esp. for my patent-pending Mapgirl Guide to Nashville (coming soon).
To see just how much music one can experience in Music City, check out the newly posted Musicalogs on the right-hand portion of this page. It’s a record of my concertgoing exploits in Nashville. Wow, I went to a lot of concerts. Simply fabulous.
Not so many this year. But the ones I did see were amazing. Quality, not quantity. It’s hard to pick a highlight, but the Long Players’ performance of “Who’s Next” (May) ranks right up there. I still can’t believe I was there for it.
Other ones worth mentioning:
-- Mark Knopfler (July), especially “Telegraph Road.” That song is like a formal dress or the good china -- something rare and special, savored in its infrequency. I could write pages about what that song means to me. But I will spare you. Seeing MK in the Auditorium Theater with a great friend made the experience even more wonderful.
-- Graham Parker (June), playing the songs I most wanted to hear. Amazing and joyful.
-- Webb Wilder in Chicago (last night). My favorite guitarist wasn't with them, but other than that it was one of the best and most enjoyable Webb shows I can remember. He is welcomed as a star in Chicago -- as well he should be.
Now that I’ve seen the dBs (September), there is virtually no group left on my concert wish list. Well, except XTC ... and I sure would love to see Marshall Crenshaw again at some point in the very near future ...
It’s always fun to go to the movies, especially when some of my favorites are on screen. It’s been a pretty good week with appearances by Adrien Brody, Chris Cooper, Jamie Bell, Jack Black and His Eyebrows, William Hurt ... if only we could have worked Andy Garcia into the mix.
“Syriana” is the best film I’ve seen this year. The film was deeply interesting and presented plenty to think about. (I see a hybrid car in my future.) I didn’t know what was going on every single minute, which was wonderful.
I am very proud of my friends. I have truly amazing friends. This week I’ve had an opportunity to catch up with some who are near and far.
The freshman year lab partner (as he is fond of signing his e-mails) was back in town from his latest coastal residence. I could list MLH’s curriculum vitae, which is most impressive (he is, in fact, a rocket scientist) but most of all I am impressed with his never-ending quest to learn and to give back to the community.
The last time I saw him was in Boston nearly six years ago – nearly six years ago! – and in addition to his regular job (it was and is far beyond my English major’s comprehension), he was studying violin and French and volunteering and traveling extensively and talking about what his next job change might be.
Since then he’s crossed the country, changed jobs, done a full immersion course in French, flirted with the idea of marrying, traveled even more extensively, started thinking about what his next job change might be.
He is my hero.
I could write pages about MLH and I hope to someday – as in, a book. His biography is amazing and even though we see each other very infrequently we have a lot of shared adventures. When I think of the future famous people from my hometown, you can bet he will be on that list.
I am having a fabulous week. I’m sleeping in shamefully late and then tackling various projects. They are the same projects as at the end of every year: cleaning out cabinets and closets. And I really mean it this time. I’m not just shuffling piles between rooms, I have a concerted campaign to get stuff out of my little empire and either into the trash or to people who might like or benefit from it.
Just when I thought I had a grip on all the clutter, I started these projects. And I just have mountains of stuff. [Please refer to George Carlin’s routine on stuff -- that says it all.]
Things I discovered I have in strangely multiple quantities:
-- Colored pencils
-- Pencil sharpeners
-- Post-It Notes
-- Index cards
-- Manila folders
-- Hanging folders [sensing an office supply theme?]
-- Rulers – wooden, plastic, clear, you name it, I got 'em
-- Boxes upon boxes of cassette tapes, mostly homemade
-- Rubbermaid boxes
-- Magazines – I could open a lending library
-- More cords than are humanly possible; I don’t even know what they’re for
-- Random books of matches, many from the Flying Saucer and Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
-- Dozens of articles about home organization
Let’s all savor that last one for a moment. Then it’s back to the sorting and scrapping.
We had ours last night -- a big change from tradition, due to new marital obligations. Now that both my brother and sister are married, they need to divide their time among two families, so we moved our usual Christmas morning event to Christmas Eve. Today they are off with the other sides of the families -- and participating in those particular traditions.
In the Mapgirl ancestral home, we consume a great deal of food. Then we always begin by reading the Christmas story from "the only true version" of the Bible, according to my dad: The King James Version. There were requests this year for the story from "The Message," apparently some new-fangled translation, but my dad overrode them. And so he gave an annotated reading from the KJV, explaining certain facts and words [i.e., "sore afraid" = "very afraid"].
We read the story from Luke, prayed, and wished Jesus a happy birthday. My nephews, ages 6, 3, and 6 weeks, were sore patient. I was very proud of them.
But that's why we have Christmas. My dad said he hopes there is never a Christmas in which we don't read the Christmas story (presumably from the KJV), pray and wish the Christ child a happy birthday.
I love TypePad. You can have many weblogs with separate addresses -- but there's just one "About" page. Since I'll need that for the new weblog in 2006, here is a last look at the "About" page that has been on Nashville Confidential lo these many years.
I am loving, loving, loving a new benefit album that features my all-time favorite band, Jason and the Scorchers, singing my all-time favorite Christmas song, "Oh Holy Night." For this album, they have rechristened it "Oh! Holy Night."
Their version ROCKS, needless to say. Imaging a wall of guitar sound under the timeless lyric, "Truly he taught us to love one another, his law is love and his gospel is peace."