markpasc (markpasc) wrote,

Cousins' graduation party

So, on stormy Saturday, I went to a party held by family for a couple cousins' high school graduation. I posted this link the other day but only during this trip did I realize just how close what I think of as Appalachia is—right there up 27, even before you get into one of the Inter-State of Confusion ever-under-construction zones. And that's still nowhere near real Appalachia.

I thought it would be nice to have something fun to listen to on the trip, which we had planned to all make together, Ma and brother and sister-in-law and nephew and myself together; however, we found out we didn't have enough room in Ma's Escape to do so. So I ended up driving my car as well. When we came back home to kick me out, brother and sister-in-law also made me take my musical selection with me. I started listening to weird things, apparently, even though Ma noted that some of my other stuff (I imagine she meant one of the Man or Astro-Man? discs I played for her one day when we galavanted, or the other Man or Astro-Man? disc I put on to play "A Simple Text File" at plenty loudness when she flumped on my bed one day) was already weird. This reminds me of when they watched a good last part of Being John Malkovich with me and said I liked weird movies when I said I liked it.

As I mentioned, it was stormy. Very stormy. Like the scary-stormy that gave us the recent flood. As we got closer, there was water already crossing the road, and this was scary because my aforementioned car is a low-slung New Beetle. Like we had to stop at a motel (well, the parking lot, you know?) for a while because it was too stormy to drive. But I did OK, apparently, as I got there and back.

The male cousin who was graduating asked me last-ish time I saw him what music I liked, and taunted me for liking electronic music. I didn't know what to say to that, so I just sort of grinned (as I tell it, anyway). Well, here at his party he and a few friends had instruments, and played some bluegrass for us. Turns out the players had played at a competition amongst six or so bands and came in first, to the tune of $1000. Unfortunately the bass part (cello, I think?) was loud and loping, which is something I can't stand in country music either. The cousin had asked me before he played what kind of music I listen to, but being dazed by the drive I couldn't really carry a conversation with him; I managed to say I'd listened to some surf lately, but when he asked "Like the Beach Boys?" I could only manage "Yeah, kinda." (I have listened to some Beach Boys lately, but that's not what I had in mind—my esprit d'escalier had me saying Man or Astro-Man?, Los Straitjackets, and Red Elvises). I don't know if he was asking to rub my face in it or trolling for approval or just curious.

I don't know what to say about high school graduation. I'm conflicted. It should be celebrated as a relief, that you managed to actually survive the thing with as many faculties intact as you did—but that's like celebrating that although the mine took your foot, you still have your leg. Even though I didn't have a particularly bad one, I don't feel like anything about high school should be celebrated. Normal people (as evidenced by the folks actively celebrating the occasion in spite of the horrible weather) have no problem with it: it's a "rite of passage" and you celebrate those and that's that.

Ultimately, whether in spite or because of being tired, not well-fed, sitting in an uncomfortable lawn chair whilst working to not be dripped on by the tent, knowing hardly anyone and lacking the acuity to converse with anyone I did know, and contending with aforementioned male graduating cousin who resembles me except with a girlfriend and talent and an ability to interact gainfully with people, that's what I took away from the adventure: mostly people don't question a damn thing, and they're OK with that.

Actual music during writing: Underworld - Deep Arch (early version) / The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - That Bug Bit Me / Man or Astro-Man? - Many Pieces of Large Fuzzy Mammals Gathered Together at a Rave and Schmoozing with a Brick / They Might Be Giants - Fingertips: Hey Now Everybody Now / Requiem for a Dream s/t - Sara Goldfarb Has Left the Building / The Tannahill Weavers - The Smokey Lum / Eurythmics - Who's That Girl / Information Society - Seek 200 / Bif Naked - I Love Myself Today / Neil Finn - Twisty Bass / PJ Harvey - 50 ft Queenie (from 4-Track Demos) / Wilco - Candyfloss / They Might Be Giants - Piece of Dirt / Tom Waits - Yesterday is Here / XTC - Earn Enough for Us / Terbo Ted - Your Money / William Orbit - Painted Rock / The Lemonheads - My Hero, Zero
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