Instead of a day-by-day/hour-by-hour account, let me run down the highlights between Thursday night to Saturday night: ordered tacos and got a sandwich and hot wings instead, saw Michael Ian Black do standup and kill, watched Filmage again, went to four record stores, bought Jawbox's first album on vinyl, ate a couple of large plates of Indian vegetarian food, hit up a Guitar Center, got a new car battery, helped with setting up (and tearing down) a drum set, helped do merch inventory, visited Sun Studio again and went to Ardent Studio for the first time, and got home safely.
The main attraction of seeing Braid and Beach Slang was the pinnacle of my whirlwind visit. Both bands put on excellent sets, mixing old and new material well. I spent a lot of time with the Braid guys, hanging out and volunteering to help in any way that I could. They are good people that I have known for over ten years, and I look forward to seeing them again, whenever that is. Getting to know the Beach Slang guys was a major plus. I freely admitted to them about how much I like their sound, and I hope to see them again on tour later this year.
Driving almost endlessly down I-40 on the way home, I didn't dread coming back to my regular routine. I realized this "vacation" was a way for me to take a break from mental doldrums swirling around in my head. Spending almost 24 hours of helping a band get from place to place and setting up and tearing down gave me the chance to not think too much about topics that have been on my mind lately. I now understand that I am an obsessive thinker, and have been for many years. Recognizing this as a problem can help me work on solutions for what I can do in the foreseeable future.
Quite often, I hear people say their vacations are never long enough and they can't wait to go on another one. I'm not thinking that way, as I enjoy doing what I do in my regular routine, for the most part. I needed this trip, as perverse as it might sound to drive a long way for a show. But it wasn't just a show for me. Most shows aren't.