Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Birds

I hadn't been to church or seen my grandparents since December, so a trip to Lincolnton was the right thing to do Sunday. Sister Anna and I loaded up in the 99 Chevrolet S-10 4x4 and headed west to First United Methodist Church. The church was built in 1903 and is a beautiful example of revival architecture. Well, at least I'm told it's revival architecture. I don't really know what the proper term is, but I think that's right.
I went upstairs to the balcony to take some pictures during the service and I got some weird looks. Maybe it's just because I'm used to sticking out with a large television camera on my shoulder in situations where it seems a bit invasive, but it all felt normal to me. At least I turned off the flash. I just wanted to get a few shots of Paw Paw(southern for grandfather.) He doesn't preach very often anymore, but he still helps lead every service. Typically a prayer or some sort of reading.
Being a Lincoln County native Paw Paw has a southern accent. When he preaches or prays, his accent changes into a lighter southern with a good bit of Scottish mixed in. It's weird yet powerful at the same time. Sometimes during a prayer or blessing the pitch of his voice gets a little higher and almost aches a little. Not the ache like he's in pain, but that ache like Bono when he sings the Martin Luther King line then blasts into the chorus of Pride. I try to make it up there any time he preaches. It's sad, but I can probably count the number of times he'll preach again on both of my hands. With his age he finds himself losing his place when he preaches. That really upsets him so he only fills in when the senior pastor is out of town.
After church we went to the Lincoln House for lunch. It's odd a place like the Lincoln House that features southern home cooking offers healthy items like whole wheat waffles, egg whites and turkey bacon. That's what I always get and it's always good. We ran into a man named Joe Kiser who was once the Lincoln County sheriff and now represents the 97th district in the North Carolina General Assembly. He's known my grandparents for years so he stopped by the table and chatted for a while. We talked about former speaker Jim Black heading to jail. Even Kiser, the republican, said he didn't think Black would actually do something like that. Once he left, Mimi(my grandmother) said that was the one republican she liked. She then informed me that she'd likely vote for Hilary Clinton next year. That's right, a 79 year old preacher's wife from North Carolina is voting for Hilary. I should go to Lincolnton more often.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I Wanna Run Around the Halls of my Newsroom

I've seen John Mayer before. It was a Sunday in 2002 when my old pal Steve Nation told me he had two extra tickets to go see John Mayer. I'd never heard of him before, but Steve sang the, "I Wanna Run 'Round the Halls of my High School" song and I recognized it. It kind of reminded me of Brendan Benson, a California song writer my friend Brad introduced me onto way back when. I took ex-lady Tara to the show at Davidson College for our third or fourth date. She had never heard of him either. We went in, realized we were two of the oldest people in the building at ages 22 and 21, respectively. The shriek of teenage girls was evident as soon as he took the stage. It was heinous. We left after the third or fourth song and went and got an ice cream cone or something.
When I met current The Lady here at work, it was quickly revealed she was a HUGE John Mayer fan. I told her I went to that show in 2002, partly to flirt and partly to tell her I went with an ex-girlfriend hoping she'd get jealous or something. She called me a loser when I told her we left after the third or fourth song.
I gave The Lady a bad ass coffee grinder/brewer for Christmas. I also gave her two tickets to last Thursday's John Mayer show in Columbia, SC at the new Colonial Center. It's a nice venue. Nice enough to charge ten dollars for parking. Thanks to my good friends Brian and Mark Wilson, I've been taught that drinking is necessary before any show. It may be Willie Nelson or John Mayer, but beers are imperative. We stopped and got a 24 oz. Miller Lite for her, and a 24 oz. Steel Reserve for myself. 6% alcohol volume was the right call for the show.
I'm not a John Mayer fan. I don't hate him or anything, and a few of his songs are just fine, but I certainly wasn't jacked up for some whippin' ass tunes last Thursday. I was looking forward to The Lady being so excited about the show(she didn't disappoint.) I knew I'd have a good time because she would have a good time, but I've got to thank Mark Smith for leaving me a message before the show. Mark knows music. He's got a very eclectic appreciation for talented guitar players. His message said,
"Dude, once you let him get past the four or five songs than make all of the girls scream, he's a smokin' guitar player. Enjoy the show."
Well, I certainly didn't hate the show. Some of the songs were indeed good, and he talked a lot during the show. He doesn't take himself too seriously and is very self aware. I appreciated that.

At some point during the show these girls found a spotlight upstairs and danced during the tunes. Mayer stopped after a song and said,
"Let's give a shoutout to Katie, Darcy, Diamond, Savanna, and Lolita on the side stage. Now for your table dancing pleasure, here's half of a Foo Fighters song!"
I'll be damned. John Mayer has spent a TON of time in strip clubs. Only a veteran tells the crowd to wait for Stairway to get a table dance. After that, I figured John Mayer is alright with me.
Some girls behind us took this picture. A John Mayer fueled smile on her face, this is my new favorite picture of us. The 14 year old girl even framed the Man above The Lady's left shoulder.
Jessica Simpson wasn't there, but we were walking out and Panthers' Legend Steve effing Beuerlein was exiting the concourse. He was cool and took pictures with both of us. I thanked him profusely for taking no less than 300 sacks as a Carolina Panther. Our line was AWFUL when he was our QB. Steve told me, "I did take a lot of sacks, didn't I?" Hell yes you did, Steve, and you got up after every one of them! George Seifert is an ass for cutting you loose.

It was cool to have a random Steve Beuerlein sighting. It was much better to see The Lady have a wonderful time watching John Mayer. That night made Columbia suck a little bit less.