A Not-Ready-for-Primetime-Player

believe it or not, I actually have a problem with there being so much to do around here

Jodie Arnold, illustrated by Erik Christenson

A few weeks ago, I got a Facebook invite from my friend Justin. He was having his musical debut down at the Bottle and Barrel and wanted me to go. Well, me and every other friend he has on Facebook. My friend Gab messaged me (I’m a fan of any technology that makes it less necessary for me to talk on the phone) and asked if I was going. I mean, HELLO. This wasn’t just our “friend.” This was the guy she and I both had a crush on since the day he first started 7th grade with his groovy Vanilla Ice haircut. I was all set to RSVP when I noticed the show’s start-time. 10 pm. On a THURSDAY??? WHAT? Do none of these “artsy people” work before noon?

I call these experiences “time shockers” and sadly, they seem to be happening to me more often. I look at the calendar of events in Volume One, get all jazzed about the monster movie showing Skin Prints is hosting at The Mouse Trap, and then notice that it’s at 10 pm. On TUESDAY. (And fine, I know that Skin Prints doesn’t open up until noon, but they aren’t the only ones attending the event! Or maybe they are. I wouldn’t know, since I’m in bed by that time.)

What in the hell is going on around here?

During my college years (aka the ones I’d like to forget and mostly have), I could go to bed at 2 am, get up at 6 am, and show up to work, all bleary-eyed and not showered. I was even kinda functional. I was working in the cafeteria at UWEC, which wasn’t very demanding, I suppose. That helped. As long as I kept an eye on the salad bar, life was good.

All the same, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and still manage to get through a day without a steady intravenous drip of caffeine running through my veins and half a bottle of concealer smeared under my eyes. At the time, the “do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted” amounted mostly to drinking and other shenanigans I won’t mention here out of respect to my grandma. Back in the olden days, there just wasn’t that much to do in Eau Claire. Seriously.

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