Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodbye Summer of 2010.

For a lonely soul, you're having such a nice time
For a lonely soul, you're having such a nice time
For a lonely soul, it seems to me that you're having such a nice time
You're having such a nice time. - Keane "Nothing in my way" (see below for song) 

Met Keane in MN
When you are single at 33, there is a lot of quiet time late at night which allows for massive amounts of self-reflection and introspection. I blame my uncle for introducing me to this world of single life where the greatest question invented lives on steroids: "Why?". He is well over the age of 45, single, no kids and challenged me early in my life to pursue the road less taken and to follow my heart.  

I was reminded this summer that I'm really fortunate to have the kind of life that I always wanted. Sometimes, in the rush of living, I think I forget to stop and look around at what is good in my life and the opportunities that are provided to me because of the choices I've made. That doesn't mean I don't have issues because my life can be lonely at times.  The solemn existence is caused by a piercing desire to pursue a career that forces me to move around the country to places where I never thought I would live.

Radio is who I am and without it, I don't know what I would do with myself. I have my uncle to thank for my career. This summer was quite possibly the greatest of my life, yet I spent the majority of it alone or with just one or two people along for the experiences. It causes me to wonder - have I spent too much time alone these past few years that I'm now forever destined to live solo? My poor mother is wondering if her oldest son will ever grow up and settle down but it sure doesn't look like it at the rate I'm going. I am 33 for god-sakes.

I'm now even asking myself if I will ever give up this bachelorhood? I don't think I want to but don't I have to if I want to do the wife and white picket fence life kinda thing? Debating that is my new late-night struggle.

I've written of my childhood before, explaining how we never traveled anywhere beyond New York City. It was like the world stopped at tip of lower Manhattan. This bubble was allowed to remain intact because everything you focused on was in Boston or New York. Movies, art, TV news, baseball, football, it was all about Boston and New York.

But then radio came along and this Pandora's Box of experiences was opened up for me and I was never the same. I call it "the ride" and it's been filled with so much selfish fun.

I'm not going to bore you with every detail of what I did this summer but the highlights are pretty wild and gives some background to why I'm still single. Yes, I did go home to Boston to see the family for five days but the real fun started afterwards.

Keane performing in Vegas
Everyone should spend the 4th of July in Los Angeles just once, especially if you are from the East Coast. I don't want to say that people in Cali aren't patriotic because they are, but the 4th there feels like a played-out family tradition rather than a celebration of our country's history. I also learned a big lesson in California this summer - growing up means you have to learn to keep your mouth shut and let your friends make their own mistakes with love. Even when you want to scream at them, you have to just accept their decisions because saying what you think can be devastating. I lost a connection with a close friend in July and I hope one day, we are able to re-build our friendship. He was my best friend for many years before a woman entered the picture one night in Vegas.

Speaking of Vegas, my annual July trip this year was highlighted by staying at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and getting a ton of stuff comp'd due to a connection I had at the hotel. If you are looking for a place off the strip that is really chill and very nice - that's the place to stay. The 21+ pool rocks too. I walked out up $250 from the casino, so that was a nice treat as I left the desert. It was different without my friend around though who had been a major part of my last three trips to Sin City. 

But Vegas 2010 will be remembered for seeing the band Keane for the first time at the House of Blues (pic above). I don't know if I'm normal or weird that I can go to concerts alone but I've always been this way and it further fuels my thoughts that I won't ever settle down. My first concert ever was seeing Cracker by myself at the Avalon club in Boston when I was 16. My favorite thing in the world to do is go to concerts but since many of my bands aren't popular with a lot of people, finding friends who want to go see those bands can be tough sometimes. I couldn't care less about going by myself to shows.

I'm happy to report that I finally made it to Chicago to cross off another bucket list item. In fact, after not going there for 33 years, I made two visits to the Windy City this summer. I first went for a couple of AAU tournaments for my website and then I went for Big 10 Football Media Days. While in Chi-town for the second time, a connection got my co-host and I great seats so I could see Wrigley Field - home of the Cubs for the first time.  

Chicago feels a lot like Boston with its history and quaint neighborhoods. I also made it up to Minneapolis in August and found out that their downtown is simply awesome. So much going on but so easy to get in and out of and so clean!

After going 7 years without seeing Keane, I got to see them twice during a 3 week period. The second time was in the Twin Cities at the famous First Avenue Club. That's where Prince made his name so it was pretty cool to be in there but not nearly as cool as meeting the entire band and having them sign something for me (see pic above) after the show. My friend Kat (she works in the music industry) set the whole thing up and I owe her a huge debt. It was the highlight of my summer as the band could not have been cooler to talk to for the 10 minutes I spent in their dressing room. 

But again, while Kat was hanging out with her work friends, I roamed the club by myself, dancing along to the music. It just felt right I guess.

I went to other places like Dallas for Big 12 Football Media Days, which was very routine in nature and we didn't do much fun stuff except go to a Rangers game to see Cliff Lee pitch. Kansas City was where I flew to Las Vegas from but went to a big AAU tournament first, so I spent a couple days there.

Yet, I keep coming back to a larger debate with myself when thinking about this summer: how long can you keep doing this and remain happy?

Marriage, relationships, and family have always been part of how I saw my life unfolding. I'm a family oriented guy living the most non-family friendly lifestyle. What girl wants to be around this madness?! It's a catch-22 for me.

Most of my relationships recently have been of the one to two month variety which has been perfectly OK. I date very differently than I used to. In the past, I would go years with the same girl and never walk away soon enough. Now, I get bored of them or they get sick of my behavior. There is no way that I could have gone to Boston, LA, Chicago twice, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Dallas during a 8 week period if I were married - but that's exactly what I did this summer and loved every minute of it. I know it's the quintessential single guy life that leads many to get hitched - coming home to your cat and empty loft of silence after days of partying, but how many unhappy married guys would take my life in two seconds?

All I know is, I had a blast this summer and most of it was spent by myself on planes, in cars, at shows, in hotels or at work. What does that say about me....I don't know exactly yet but I'm still loving my career, loving my freedom and loving my next chance to ask that great question:


Set List from Minneapolis Show for Keane

Hear the Encore in Minny below!