Corporate bonding, zombies, and fancy cheese

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Image courtesy of seamsoeasy. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.

Living in Atlanta as an adult can be strange (,” she retitled her blog). I’ve been here since I was 12–I just passed the 10 year mark–and it is so, so easy for me to feel stuck here when I run into teachers at festivals or OKCupid matches me with my middle school academic bowl teammates*. Atlanta is a large city, but my own personal inertia makes it hard for me to break out of old behaviors and hangouts. Add to that the fact that many folks I went to high school stick around town into adulthood, and it’s easy for things to feel a little more small town than they have any right to.

I’ve been trying to move away from that, and this weekend seemed like the perfect time to do so. The weather this weekend was a particular, lovely kind of early autumn–mid-70s, a little breeze, bright sunlight and everything still green (which in Atlanta is no mean feat: we’re a city an ent would feel at home in). We’re lucky to get a month of it each year–six weeks if we’ve been very good–and it seemed like a crime not to be out and about in the city. Soon enough it will be cold again–or 90 degrees, Atlanta weather is fun like that–and we won’t be able to be outside.

I started by walking (slowly) a corporate 5k on Thursday night, the first I’d ever done. My company, knowing what motivates its employees, had a keg of beer for us to tap into at the end of things (or, in the case of a few of my more adventurous coworkers, at the beginning of things). It’s always funny to see everyone at the company together in one place, as we all wind up pairing off into shifts like high schoolers. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the runners that we fielded came from the crew that works 6am-3pm every day. My own people–the late-night crew, who have exactly the sorts of personalities and health habits that you might expect of people who are basically nocturnal–did no such thing. I was perfectly happy to amble along with the smokers in the group, so it suited me.

Corporate bonding complete, I attempted to not think about work at all for the rest of the weekend. For the most part, I was successful! Friday kicked off with some familial catching-up, and ended with volunteering at the local improv theatre, as is my way. Any day that involves family, burritos, and helping with a zombie musical is not too shabby, as far as I am concerned.

Saturday involved a trek out to West Atlanta for this month’s Indie Craft Experience, a local craft market that serves mostly to make me feel insufficiently tattooed or Zooey-Deschanel-esque. I did manage to procure an incredibly sturdy tote bag that projects an air of, “I donate to public radio” mixed with a dash of, “I have strong feelings about Welcome to Night Vale” and, “I enjoy craft beer.” It has birds on it, and a pocket.

The trek ended with a brunch involving gruyere and caramelized onions, and there is pretty much nothing in the world that fancy cheese and root vegetables cannot solve as far as I am concerned.

After retreating home for a nap, Saturday evening was a trip out to our local art house to see a documentary about Big Star. It was good and beautiful and sad in equal measure. Part of what made the whole thing successful was the director’s ability to highlight the intensely personal connection that the folks they were interviewing felt (and feel) about the music. They talked about it the way that some folks talk about Catcher in the Rye, if they read it at exactly the right age.

There was a brief shot in the film of Eliott Smith covering Big Star’s “Thirteen,” a cover I have always loved, and it was fitting. He evokes the same feelings, I think, and has something of the same raw emotion in his music. That kind of music is the only real way that I’m able to have even a glimpse of how some people have the same intense feelings about music that I have about books. I see a movie in theaters about once every six months, if left to my own devices, so I was glad that this was one I got it together-enough to see. It was a fitting cap to a lovely weekend.

* Both true things that have happened in the last month.

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