Okay, so I don’t actually think I’m ineffective at all, whatever that means. But I am really good at finding distractions. And I think being led towards easy distractions is probably not a Habit Of Highly Effective People. Take the Elvis Costello blog post I’ve been writing for the past month. STILL WORKING ON IT. Or the collection of songs I’ve written that are waiting for that final verse / chorus / bridge and so on – I could be finishing them today, right now, or even, if I really want to beat myself up about it, yesterday. But instead I’ve just baked salmon for lunch, listed a bunch of stuff on eBay and now I’m blogging about 7 Nashville past times of mine that keep me busy but not necessarily productive. Blogging? Does that count as a habit?
In no particular order:
Come for the $1.50 beer in a can, stay for the karaoke. It’s a bar in a trailer. Despite almost no ventilation, 70 percent of patrons chain smoke. It feels a lot like the early eighties. Or 1979. There are laminate tables and stale cigarette butts and women in their early 50s singing Bobbie Gentry songs. In other words, it’s AWESOME. I hate smoking and can’t stand breathing in other people’s smoke but I love this place and could spend every second or third night here. Ever the optimist, I figure at least all the toxic air gives me a nice Bonnie Tyler rasp.
The 5 Spot: $2 Dollar Tuesdays
East Nashville musician Derek Hoke puts together an excellent night of live music every Tuesday at local venue The 5 Spot. As the name suggests it’s 2 dollars to get in. And then it’s 2 dollar Yazoo pints all night. More often than not, it results in Tylenol Wednesday. But it’s always worth it. Last night I saw Billy Joe Huels from The Dusty 45s set his trumpet on fire.
Google Image Search: Kris Kristofferson
I could let you know how many hours I’ve spent doing this. But that would be embarrassing.
Thrifting is one of my all-time favourite distractions. You couldn’t pay me to shop in a mall. I hate the fluorescent lighting and the blaring muzak and the false promise of happiness via credit card debt. But buying other people’s discarded stuff on the cheap in the name of charity? Wild horses couldn’t drag me away. Give me an abundance of shoulder pads and sequins and ill-fitting jumpsuits. Give me scratched up old records. Give me coffee cup collections purchased at tourist traps and mountains of unread books bought as Christmas gifts for thankless relatives who would have preferred a novelty sweater or a Walgreens voucher. I love it all.
Robert’s Western World
The best bar in downtown Nashville. Playing traditional country music all day, every day. Destroying livers since…
The Country Music Hall of Fame
I’m a member. This means that for the bargain price of $38 annually, I can visit the Hall of Fame every day for next to nothing. Don’t ask how many times I’ve been. Most recently, I went to the Patsy Cline exhibit. It is small but beautifully put together and features classic Patsy footage alongside trinkets, clothes and handwritten notes. I have two feature articles due for a magazine on December 12. You can guess where I’ll be spending December 11.
In the name of research, inspiration, geekdom and avoiding worthy tasks, in the words of Nick Lowe – I Read A Lot. I read a collection of brilliant essays by the screenwriter and memoirist Nora Ephron in one sitting on Monday. Last week I powered through Mary Karr’s Lit, a book on astrology and my second read of Rosanne Cash’s Composed. If I get off the computer today, I might be able to get started on Dolly: My Life And Other Unfinished Business. I’m sure Ms Parton has plenty to say about being an Effective Person.