By Ziona Kocher
DISCLAIMER: Jordan Stepp, the amazing head of AthensMusicJunkie, is referred to as the Bosslady/Boss throughout this piece. I do this to annoy her. Nearly all descriptions of her cruelty have been exaggerated (except for the Glare ‘o’ Death. That thing is scary). While she does often tease, she’s one of my best friends, and any cruelty is completely deserved and most definitely reciprocated.
09/18/09 3:30 PM Walking back to my dorm after class, going over a mental checklist for my trip. I had checked into my flight, printed my boarding pass, packed everything I needed, and was dealing with that annoying nagging feeling that I had forgotten something crucial. My roommate keeps on telling me that I need to chill out.
09/18/09 4:30 PM At the Sarasota airport two hours before my flight leaves. My nerves led me to arrive unnecessarily early, as the Sarasota airport is tiny and the security checkpoint was bare when I passed through. Find my gate and sit down, realizing I am one of the only people there who doesn’t work for an airline.
09/18/09 4:35 PM Thank goodness for free Wi-Fi. The Sarasota airport is insanely boring, and the music they play is eclectic to say the least. “Mrs. Robinson” is followed by “Stop! In The Name Of Love” which is followed by “Beat It.” Wait, what? I log onto Facebook to discover that the time for Leading Edge at Farm 255 has finally been finalized…or so Matt claims. I inform the few people I am supposed to meet and try to distract myself from the fact that I really do not enjoy flying.
09/18/09 6:30 PM After killing the better part of two hours wandering the internet aimlessly on my iPod, I’m on the plane. We aren’t allowed to have electronic devices turned on for some reason I have never understood, so I am listening to the free XM Radio they provide, flipping between Classic Vinyl and 80s on 8. Thrilling.
09/18/09 6:45 PM Finally I can listen to my own music. I put on a few songs by Leading Edge in preparation for the show later before putting the Indigo Girls on shuffle. I was more than a little amused when “Airplane” came up. I try to ignore the woman sitting in the next seat over who had already tried to engage me in conversation twice. Sorry, I just don’t like small talk.
09/18/09 7:30 PM Have to turn off electronics again. Back to Classic Vinyl on XM. Rejoice briefly when I hear the Rolling Stones, then mourn the fact that the song is about to end. It’s followed by an annoying commercial. Why oh why?
09/18/09 7:50 PM Back on the ground. Huge sigh of relief. The flight wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, and the evening could only go uphill from here.
09/18/09 8:10 PM The Atlanta airport is insane. Scariest. Escalator. Ever. The tram was fun though.
09/18/09 8:30 PM On the way to Athens. FINALLY. We had managed to escape Atlanta without ending up in a car crash, something that I am always grateful for. Listening to even more Indigo Girls at the request of the parentals (not that I’m complaining).
09/18/09 9:30 PM Pizza was acquired in Lawrenceville, and after some brief confusion we were continuing on to Athens. “Chickenman” is played, as always, for the line “On the road to Athens,” and as we pass Winder, I put on “Hot Corner” (I-I-I’m lookin’ for some fun/Waitin’ for the bus from Winder to come). As soon as we hit the Atlanta Highway, “Love Shack” is turned on at an obnoxious level. Oh, road trip traditions…
09/18/09 10:30 PM Finally in Athens. As we check into the hotel, I call the Bosslady to find out the plans for the evening. I wake her up from a nap, and we participate in a brief, though witty, conversation, deciding to meet at Farm when we’ve both cleaned up a bit. I’m looking forward to it, despite the fact that our meetings always end with her being mean to me.
09/18/09 11:00 PM Manage to find the Bosslady at Farm quite easily. A brief hug and the abuse began. It was only worsened by my parents fondness for her and their willingness to join in. Luckily, my friend Rosalie, with what seemed like 15 of her new friends from UGA, showed up a few minutes later, and I was briefly safe from the cruel remarks that had been plaguing me. The show started, and the Boss and I hung to the back. We apparently looked adorable, leaning on the wall with our arms crossed and looking both pensive and vaguely amused.
09/18/09 11:45 PM The brief (but incredibly awesome) set by Leading Edge was over, and we headed over to congratulate/harass Matt. He seemed rather pleased with the turnout, and I demanded a commission for the number of people I had convinced to come. However, it had been a free show, so I felt a bit guilty. Next time, though…
09/18/09 11:50 PM The “Let’s Be Mean To Ziona” game resumes as the Bosslady and I rejoin my parents, and it escalates as my phone is passed around the table so everyone can make fun of the pictures I have stored there. Luckily, Matt comes over and takes the focus off of me for a few minutes. It’s always amusing to see him and the Boss be mean to each other. Or maybe I’m just happy she isn’t being mean to me…
09/19/09 12:00 AM My parents, the Bosslady and I depart Farm 255 and head to her car in order to grab the presents I insisted she not get for me. There was no way I was turning down a poster and a t-shirt, though. The Boss then heads off to the Caledonia to cover the madness happening there, and the parents and I head back to our hotel.
09/19/09 12:30 AM I really should have gone to the Caledonia. Missed out on all of the awesomeness.
09/19/09 11:00 AM Finally leaving the hotel after sleeping in and taking our time getting ready. I call the Boss, who tells me we’re meeting Chris McKay at Transmet for pizza at noon. I’m thrilled and somewhat nervous, simply because I’m a nervous person. Anxiety – it makes life interesting.
09/19/09 11:30 AM After grabbing a quick bite to eat at Big City Bread Cafe, we head over to Agora so I can drool on the vinyl. After a shockingly small amount of digging, I am ready to go, having acquired both the Side Effects and the Indigo Girls in nice condition for relatively reasonable prices. I get a call from the Bosslady – lunch has been postponed to 12:30. I’m not complaining, this gives us time to hit the Wuxtry before lunch.
09/19/09 12:15 PM I love the Wuxtry. I really do. I could spend hours there, just looking at everything. So it’s no shock that that is where the Boss found us. She has news – lunch is getting knocked back to 1:00, so after looking around for a few more minutes we head over to Helix to look around. There is entirely too much cute, kitschy and expensive stuff there. It should be illegal.
09/19/09 1:00 PM Finally at the Transmet for lunch. We decide what we want, and it isn’t too long until Chris and his wife Amanda arrive. They are both incredibly nice and awesome, and Chris told us tons of great stories about both performing and photographing shows. Considering that I have a desire to be a concert photographer, it was really informative, but now I am terrified of the career that I have been wanting for about a year now. Still, it was a great time, and the Bosslady only pulled out her patented “Glare ‘o’ Death” once, and it was luckily not directed at me.
09/19/09 3:00 PM It is decided that we really need to get on the road, so we drag ourselves out of the Transmet to say our goodbyes. One last story is shared (this one about the shoes that Chris and I both have) and we all agree that lunch is definitely a must next time I’m in town.
09/19/09 3:30 PM After dragging the Bosslady back to our rental car to give her the presents I had brought for her, we are back on our way, driving back to Atlanta for the Indigo Girls show at Chastain later in the evening. Some pictures are taken along the way, largely because I’m bored, but also because the Boss told me to. I’ve found that it’s easiest to do what she tells me to without arguing.
Editor’s note: Ziona dishes out just as well as I do so any “cruelty” occurs on both sides. 😛