Strange Winds

This feels a bit stranger than I thought it would. I do not typically write my blogs on my gaming laptop. It is not that my Asus is lacking in some way that prevents me from blogging on it, but I do generally find myself on my MacBook Pro on Sundays. Regardless of the machine I choose to use, it is that time again.

This weekend Matt and I drove to El Paso to spend the night with my sister and spent most of Saturday in Las Cruces, New Mexico for a taekwondo tournament. We did not compete, but opted to go watch and support the students from our school who did. This was Matt’s first taekwondo tournament and – true to form – his complaints, few though they were, stemmed from ways he would improve the operation of the tournament.

He also felt the youth sparring was lacking, but neither he nor I are going to judge the four-year-old fighters their right to keep swinging and hope the points keep accumulating. I have to admit that I enjoyed watching them. My sister did too, but Ethan and Harmony only held a cursory interest throughout the competition.

I marveled a bit during the drive to El Paso on Friday. I know memories are strongly tied to scents, but I also found strong memories emanating from the music I was listening I was blaring on the radio. My iPod is loaded with music, but it has not been tinkered with a whole lot since around 2009. This is apparent from the Buckcherry, Yellowcard, Avenged Sevenfold, and Three Days Grace that lingers on it.

Buckcherry always makes me think of Meta, Fen, Mad, Vish, Gnoes, and Housh. There’s another name missing, but I cannot remember her game name and we separated on less than savory terms, so omitting it does not bother me.

The spring and summer of 2009, Buckcherry was always playing for me. This was also a point in my life that I could literally sit around and do nothing. This translates into a lot of video game time with the group I mentioned previously. That was the summer we gathered in Boston for a week to get to know each other. It brought a smile to my face to hear Buckcherry come on while I drove and find myself thinking about my guys and Vish. It also made me smile to think that one less of those friends falls into the “estranged” category today. It has been great reconnecting with Meta.

Vish just had her baby. No, I have never mentioned her pregnancy in my blog before, so I cannot expect anyone to have been waiting for news. It is, however, on my mind right now because the few pictures I have seen of this little girl are amazing. I hope to be able to meet her someday. Vish chose a great name for her daughter too, but it is not my place to share that information here. Just know that I approve!

Another bit of music that made me think of other times and places intermingled with the Buckcherry. When Journey, Foreigner, and Mott the Hoople played, it took me back to Iraq. The Shrek and Shrek 2 soundtracks would have taken me to another deployment, but I did not seem to have any of those songs remaining on the iPod.

So here I am on Pandora, scanning and browsing for music to bring back happy memories. Part of the fun is remembering lyrics, singers, or albums that might have some fun triggers. I remember one song about existentialism, but I can remember neither singer nor lyric to begin my search. It is no problem, though. I have plenty of music to keep me occupied.

This week ahead of me will be a stressful one. I have much preparing to do for the OCS board – which has finally been set for Wednesday. I am both extremely confident and terribly nervous. I have not always been one for “putting all my eggs in one basket”, but I really have no backup plan here. That by itself does not bother me, but it does make me wonder what my options will be if the answer is not a good one.

Friday morning will find my mom, Matt, and me driving back to El Paso. Ethan’s first day of preschool is on Monday and my mom wants to be there for it. Why are Matt and I going? Coinciding with Ethan’s first day is the Deming Duck Races. It is exactly what it sounds like and one of only a handful of claims-to-fame that Deming can boast. We participated in the event a lot when I was a kid, but this will be Matt’s first time.

Do not raise your hopes high, ladies and gentlemen. It is nostalgia only that makes me want to drag him to these things. Who knows? Maybe he will rent his own duck and win a race on my behalf. It is known that knights would often fight on behalf of some fair maiden. “Fair” I might not be, but I think this falls in the same category. What I can promise is a sweltering hot parade in the morning, tacky duck paraphernalia, and children squealing when they are forced by parents to hold their own duck.

I cannot wait. Have a great week all.

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