I hate Jimmy Buffet. “Margaritaville” is one of those songs that gets stuck in my head for days on end, driving me nearly to madness. The very strains of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” make me want to go vegan. I do NOT wish I had a pencil-thin mustache, thank you.
So you may wonder then how I ended up seeing Changes in Latitude, the premier Jimmy Buffet tribute band, last night. The answer is this: My friend Thor.
Thor is my Friday Night Thing. He laughs easily and is always up for anything no matter how goofy, plus he shares my not-so-secret-but-deeply-shameful love of Moe’s. So when I saw that our little civic center was indeed getting a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, I knew we had to go. There is little I love more than an ironic concert, hipster that I am.
In a weird fit of Nostalgia For Things I Barely Remember Existing (I get these sometimes), I went back and watched JEM on Netflix. I didn’t get very far because I am a Grown-Ass Lady with Things To Do, like losing at computer chess or fretting about wedding plans.
But in re-watching the pilot, I realized two things:
1) Jem is an elitist shrew — when the Misfits are introduced, before they even say anything to her, she looks at their clothes and shrieks “Get that trash out of my father’s office!” Bitch, you don’t know what these girls are about! Way to support other women in an incredibly competitive and often misogynistic business just because you don’t like the way they dress.
Ian and I are getting married in just over a month. Part of our planning process has been, of course, the magic that is the gift registry and all the possibilities therein. A stand mixer! Matching towels! Pots with lids that fit! I have become a living version of Once Upon a Honeymoon.
But with the very real possibility of acquiring these awesome shiny things, we’ve been doing a lot of soul/box searching and figuring out what to get rid of to make room for the new. We’ve taken the time to assess what we want out of the next phase of our life and are getting rid of stuff that doesn’t suit the lifestyle we want to have. Sure, that black Hot Topic dress with the vinyl buckles across the front is goth-cute, but it’s not exactly something I can — or want — to wear while I’m trying to get a quote from the mayor.
Over birthday sushi, my friend and fellow writer Mike and I began discussing his newest short story. Mike’s ultimate goal is to win Writers of the Future; it’s his pinot noir, if you want to go Sideways about it, and every few years he presents me with a new short sci-fi story to read in anticipation of the next contest.
His story “Double Tap” grew out of conversations we had. When I was asked to submit a “supernatural crime” story to an anthology, I pitched a few ideas to friends, and in the back-and-forth, he came up with an idea he spun off on his own. On his lunch break he’d get 250 or 500 words on the page; some mornings I’d wake up to a joyous email because he’d spent the night writing and gotten four or so pages done.
So a week ago, he handed me the first final draft for my thoughts. I sat down with a cup of coffee and read through. It was good, needed the kind of work all first drafts do — tightening, strengthening the characters, a few cuts for pace. Given the way the inspiration sparked, it was only natural that we’d end up back at the dinner table, discussing story and craft.