The last two nights we’ve spent with my old, old friend Jason Cox. And by “old” I mean “younger than me” but we’ve known one another since third grade or so. He plays games. Has a PhD in the world of role playing games. Like many people with doctorates, even in subjects that I think of myself as fairly well-versed in, I find myself quickly lost in conversations with him, listening and nodding and smiling and realizing that knowledge in all things can get so specialized, so deep, that it leaves me in the dark dust of ignorance.
It’s a sad thing. But it’s marvelous to see what he does. Tuesday night we dodged up to Michigan and hit an open mic just to meet some people and to say we did – because that makes the very first time ever hitting the state.
Oz’ Music Store in Ann Arbor, MI is like a teeny little House of Musical Traditions. If someone says “where can I find a sitar, a guitar, Irish bones, a balalaika and get my electric bass worked on” I would first point them to HMT. But then if they said “but, I Live in MICHIGAN” I would then say “well, you want the land of Oz!” They have a nice singer/songwriter-based open mic coupled with a local cable broadcast. We met some nice people, heard some fun songs – I met fellow FAWMers in the flesh which was ALSO kind of awesome… because though I enjoy the process of February Album Writing Month I think it’s also kind of nice to meet other people who’ve shared the angst of trying to write these 14 songs in 28 days. (I did great a couple of years, only wrote three this year). Talking to some other people about that mindset and about then ever trying to go back and LEARN what you hath wrought – I think that if this was local to me it’d be a fun group of people to hang out with.
The next day we decided to NOT hit an open mic (I explored about 4 of them, and then decided that since Spring Break had wiped two of them for the week, another turned out to be a comedy night and the fourth was at a hookah lounge) – we went to the Toledo Museum of Art and then came home and played board games and drank wine. This is something I’d only ever do in very trusted company, and it was a really relaxing night of letting all of our collective locks down.
I won one. Kristen won another. I have the suspicion that Jason and his wife LET us win things though. A night was thusly wiled away with friends and their games and their cat and their kitten – and we’re in good form to drive about five hours, circumvent the orbit of Chicago, and play in Illinois this evening.
Rollin, rollin, rollin.