Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rodeo Daze

It's that time of year again when the rodeo comes to town. For people not born and reared in the Southwest, it's no big deal, but here in Tucson, the city practically shuts down. Schools close, people take time off work, and the snow bunnies take to the streets en masse. All for the rodeo. Yeeeee-ha. This week has left me in a bit of a funk and I am looking forward to the weekend and a few days off. I blame most of it, no, make that all of it, on the rodeo.

First of all I'm bitter. The girls get a four-day weekend out of the deal, but I get jack. Check that, I got a big headache. I came in to work on Thursday only to be greeted by mass chaos. Our station decided to celebrate the occasion with a cookout and potluck luncheon in the back parking lot. Fine, whatever. They also invited our radio division whose facilities are on the other side of town. This is where the headache begins. I'm trying to do my job, and I have tours of people coming through, interrupting me and distracting me from getting ready for my shift. This was accompanied by co-workers coming in every two minutes to inform me:

"Hey, did you know there's food out there?"

"There's food out in the back parking lot!"

"Did you get food? They're grilling hot dogs out in the back lot!"

"They've got Hebrew Nationals out back! Why don't you go out there and fix yourself a plate?"

While I do appreciate their concern for my hunger relief (ignoring their lack of concern for my intestinal well-being), it became pretty annoying. As you can tell, it seems everyone at the station gets a little giddy whenever free food is at stake.
An announcement of free lunch will incite a riotous stampede to the source, as employees adhere to the unwritten rule concerning free station food: you snooze, you lose. I realize that television salaries aren't great, but please! You'd think the company was handing out bonuses or free stock options. Apparently, everyone has come to the realization that free food is as good as it's gonna get, so they celebrate it. I'm not there yet.

Then I heard the tragic news of the day: a five year-old girl had been killed at the Rodeo Days parade earlier in the day. For the second straight year, something spooked a team of horses pulling a wagon, sending them in a literal stampede through the parade route. Last year, the mayor of Tucson and his wife were injured in the incident. This year, the team of horses collided with a horse ridden by the little girl. She was thrown from her horse and trampled. I hate hearing news of children dying, even more so now that I myself am a Dad. I can't help but put myself in the shoes of the grieving parents, and my heart goes out to them.

So now I'm annoyed and depressed. And people kept coming in and saying, "Oh, did you hear about the little girl? That's so sad! Hey, there's still hot dogs outside! You should go get one!" Leave me alone...can't you see I'm grieving here?

Diane was in Los Angeles for meetings and the girls were with the in-laws, so I had the house to myself. Normally, I'd be ecstatic to have all of that alone time, but not this week. The house felt a little too empty. Add to that the frustration of my computer dying for real this time (the hard drive is fried on a computer that's not even two years old), and my life's beginning to resemble a Country/Western song:

My dog died and my wife ran to L.A.
My buddies hate me 'cause I won't eat the hot dog tray
And I'm cryin' 'cause the computer won't play
All during Rodeo Days

Sadly, those are probably the best lyrics I've written in the past six months, probably more.
My funk has lasted for about three days now and I'm going to place the blame squarely on the rodeo, even for the fried hard drive. Why? Because I'm in a bad mood and I can. I think I need a vacation.

1 comment:

eshinee said...

Those are some pretty sweet lyrics though, eh?

BTW, we went to see Phil Keaggy last week and he mentioned that he'd been in a dry creative spell for the past couple of years. Rob mentioned then that Steve Bell says that he's been in one too. Like, something's muddying the spiritual water, man.