January 22, 2010:
The rain is slowing down, and though I'm sad to see it go, I understand that others are glad to see it's wet ass hit the bricks. But not me. Come back in the summer time, please!
My dad and I went on a Conan O'Brien binge in the afternoon. Its a surprise to me, because my dad had never shown any particular affection for Conan. I honestly didn't think that he cared about the entire stupid mess that NBC was making of the whole situation. But even he had to admit that Conan was at his absolute hilarious best dishing out some pain to the network. Though being the underdog does suit Conan quite a bit.
I then practiced a song I'm learning on the guitar, and I can say with an actual feeling of certainty that I have advanced from awful to the the level of sub-par. It takes believing in your dreams to be able to fail in them properly! I know where my fingers have to be to get the sounds I need, but they don't move with ease. But I have master the C-chord! It doesn't take the same level of concentration for my fingers to find the right spot. If I didn't know better, I could refer to it as actual muscle memory.
If I didn't know better.
Anyboo, the song is called "Blizzard of '77" by a band called Nada Surf. They had hit mainstream success in the 90's with a song called "Popular." They've still been making music since, and Blizzard of '77 is a personal favorite of mine from 2002, I believe.. It's fun to sing, and pretty easy to play on guitar. Though there are a few finger movements I'm having trouble doing smoothly. All in all, I have a strong chance of mastering this song, as long as I keep up with the practice.
I headed over to Victor's Birthday dinner at the Woodranch Grill. The food was pretty good, leaving me stuffed and lethargic. Just the right frame of mind for talking about random crap.
Topics of Conversation @ Woodranch: The Simpsons, steam, bitter entrepeneurs, creepy cloud shapes, non consentual sex cards, manly food, babies, Jay Leno's scheme to fail upwards, freebies, ribs, conning married couples, etc.
After Woodranch, Justin, Victor, Quincy, and myself all headed to Justin's place to watch Conan O'Brien's final episode as the host of the Tonight Show. To say I could feel myself getting a bit emotional would be an understatement. I was very sad to see Conan go. I had been angry with the injustice that been shown to Conan by a studio that just couldn't seem to find it in themselves to show some respect and faith in a man that had been in the business for twenty years, and was just starting to hit his stride. And I was angry at Jay Leno...
What really got to me about Conan's last episode was the speech he gave. I was slightly worried that he wouldn't say anything. Maybe just have a last episode and let his work speak for him. But I had really wanted to hear Conan just say what he felt, with all jokes aside. And the part that hit me the hardest, and made me the proudest of Conan, was the final part of his farewell speech:
"To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
I nearly lost it right then. That's... how can I say how much I believe that? How do I try and distill how much this spoke to me directly? It felt like he was speaking to me right then. I've always liked Conan. Now I love the guy. He said exactly what I want to believe in. And he did it in the face of the biggest disappointment in his career. (Maybe in his life?) I actually felt more inspired by that than anything else. I want to live my life like that. And its easy to do it in the middle of success, but nearly impossible in the middle of failure. And in no way is it Conan's failure. It's NBC's failure. Their total lack of comman sense and decency. But you know what? They were the ones that give Conan a show at all. They did take some chances. Who knows, maybe there's hope for them?
Not today, of course. But I'm determined not to be cynical.