Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe...

As you all know, I study the queer cultural phenomenon that is The L Word. I have published a couple articles on it and just finished the ole diss. I also hope to work this into a book proposal this fall. But after that, I really hope to move on to other things. Related theories, but new case studies.

The show was bringing me a nice bit of closure as well, in that the final season (6) was supposed to be airing on Showtime this winter. But, in true "TLW taunts me" fashion, I just read in Entertainment Weekly and had confirmed at one of the leading websites that creator Chaiken and Showtime will be developing...yes, you guessed it...


This both enrages and intrigues me so much...I just might 'splode!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Not Just About Guitar Lust!

I recently learned about this new guitar. It is a special edition model to celebrate Joe Satriani's 20 year relationship with Ibanez guitars. I absolutely love it and am seriously considering purchasing it. I have never spent this much (around a grand) on a guitar and in fact, never really thought I would. After all, I'm really only a "hobbyist." But, this guitar symbolizes a lot of important things to me.

If you've ever played an instrument, you know there is a moment after you've been playing a while when you begin to plateau. You cease to advance quickly and learning becomes more gradual. This can be a very frustrating moment, and in fact, is responsible for many people giving up.

Around the time that I was reaching this point, my guitar teacher at the time asked me if I had ever heard of a guitarist named Joe Satriani. He then played me a few minutes of his most recent release (Surfing with the Alien), which is the artwork that graces this killer instrument, and suggested I pick up a copy.

What I hear on that album, starting with the very first notes to the last amazing riff, blew my freakin' young mind! I had never heard shred guitar. I didn't even know you could do that kind of stuff on the thing! It was incredible and I was hooked! Frustration over my plateau was out the window.

The Satch Man had saved my desire to play, inspired me endlessly with each new note, and perhaps done even more (since I poured myself into my guitar during my awkward and depressed teenage years).

Many years ago, I even got the opportunity to meet the man. I was nervous, because you never know what can happen when you meet your idols. He was a genuinely great guy and very gracious when I told him what his playing had meant to me.

So, this guitar isn't simply about lusting after a beautiful instrument. It is also about what playing has meant to me throughout my life. A hobby, an escape, a comfort, and a whole lot of fun. It may be expensive, but we only live once, right?

Refocusing my Efforts

If you know me (or if you have read any of this blog!), you are likely to also know that I like the Boston Red Sox. Slightly fewer of you probably know that I also love the Milwaukee Brewers. In fact, I still consider them my "home team," despite my unfortunate location in Twins Territory.

Why might I be less forthright with my Brewers fandom? Well basically, I have grown tired over the years of being laughed at! I know, I know, Brewers fans are not one of your traditionally "cursed" teams, but mind you we have never won a World Series and haven't even been to the postseason (which we only did twice, if you count the strike half-season) since 1982! If that's not the making of a team to be ignored and a fandom to be ridiculed, I don't know what is!

In fact, being a Brewer fan is likely why my love of the game went onto the back burner for many years, finally being rekindled by a trip to Fenway Park a few years back. What I learned at Fenway was not only that the Red Sox have an incredible story and an awesome ballpark, but also that anything can happen in baseball (or, maybe I was just reminded of this).

Well as many of you probably know, the Brew Crew has been making the news a lot lately. Everyone is saying that this is their year. For a while, I have tried to remain calm. I do not want to be too disappointed if/when they don't go to the postseason. But, I have recently changed my approach. I have decided to throw my fandom behind them full-force.

I am tired of hiding!

I am no fair-weather fan!

Ridicule or disappointment be damned-I love my Brewies!

This even got me in trouble last night at a St. Cloud River Bats game (our local minor league team). I wanted to get my picture taken with their awesome mascot, Batty, but he insisted on throwing my Brewers hat on the ground and stomping on it first.

But, you know what? I don't care! My Brewers are kicking butt and takin' names this year! They may not make it all the way, but hey, maybe they'll at least make it possible to wear Brewers apparel without a full-scale interrogation behind your bizarre fandom choices.

Go, Brew Crew, Go! Remind the country once again that Wisconsin has another sports team besides those damn Packers!