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NashTucky: The Midnight Special


Saturday, July 14

Part I

Part II

Part III

The problem with sleeping in hotels is, for me, the lack of direct sunlight cuing my ass to get the fuck out of bed and start my damn day. Hotels, even like the one we stayed in in NashVegas, which boasted beautiful indoor gardens, which our balcony opened up to, are timeless to me. Sort of like hospitals – it can be 2AM or 2PM and it feels the damn same.

Dawn had, like the morning person she is, sat out on the balcony reading trashy magazines for like 8,272 hours waiting for my lazy ass to slog out of bed. When I did, she handed me a cup of coffee and then watched, befuddled as I went to the teeny coffee maker outside the bathroom and made myself a cup of coffee.

“Um,” she said. “You do know that we already have coffee, right?”

“Yeah,” I grunted. “But I’m double-fisting this motherfucker.”

She laughed before saying, “if we don’t go soon, we’re going to miss our tour.”



We’d planned exactly two things for the trip, figuring the rest would just be organic (but not like ORGANIC) and we’d do the shit we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. EXCEPT for the two things we’d planned, which had very specific start times. Like the fucking tour.

Rushing downstairs, we got the car from the valet, who had, thoughtfully, left the driver’s side window open so that Dawn was, effectively, sitting on a slushy, squishy seat. Awesome. I offered her my ass, but somehow she didn’t think it would help. Crazy ass.

She plugged in the coordinates to the Country Music Hall of Fame and off we went. Quickly, we learned that, not unlike Chicago, NashTucky had a “construction season” rather than a “summer.” Grimly we followed the chipper-sounding GPS lady (who I felt like throat-punching, truthfully), to one “closed to construction” street after another.

Finally, we made our way into the bottom of the Hilton hotel in downtown NashVegas, where we parked, all but screaming “FUCK IT” as we watched our tour time tick steadily past. Trudging out of the underground lot, I noted one thing. We were right fucking next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. After all the twists and turns we’d done, that alone was a minor miracle.

We raced to the desk, barely stopping to notice the beautiful atrium, and begged the woman behind the counter to take the next tour.

“Well,” she drawled. “We got one startin’ at one with two seats left. Want ’em?”

“YES! Thank you, YES, thank you!” Dawn returned. “It’s her birthday and we don’t want to miss this.” I didn’t bother to correct her – my birthday was the following day, but really, we’d be heading back to Chicago by then, so for all intents and purposes? It was my birthday.

The lady behind the counter fiddled with some tickets and a printer that had probably been created well before I’d been born, as I basked in the sunlight like a cat, listening to the delicate strains of a guitar playing through the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I only have this moment, I thought, as I was reminded of my hippie parents: the future is unwritten and the past is unchangeable. I took deep breath after deep breath, letting the light inside me. The woman behind the counter eventually handed Dawn the tickets with the instructions, “Get into that line over there and the tour guide will pick you up at one!” She beamed at us, both falling all over ourselves with thank you’s.


As I turned to walk away, she looked me in the eye and said, her voice dripping with genuine sweetness and light, “Happy Birthday, hon.”

A normal response would be to smile and thank her for the well wishes, which I did. Then, I promptly turned around, standing in one of the most beautiful atriums I’ve ever seen, listening to a guy play a lone guitar version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” and burst into tears. That happens a lot to me when shit gets real: instead of behaving like a normal person, I cry when people are kind to me. If she’d said, “you’re an ugly fat bitch,” I’d have responded with some fairly rude gestures, reported her to her manager and demand a discount on the already-purchased tickets.

But when people are kind like that? It gets me. Every. Fucking. Time.

I stepped outside to regroup, not entirely comfortable with an entire atrium staring at the crazy crying lady, because you know as well as I, the very moment someone near you begins to weep, you want to know why; comfort them, or (if you’re me) hug them, and then create some story in your mind as to WHY this person, standing in the middle of the lobby of a beautiful building is weeping. If’n I’d seen me, I’d have made up some wild tale about John C. Mayer stalking me, vying for my love, while I slowly turned into Lil Wayne.

What? I didn’t say it was PLAUSIBLE. Or did I?

Alas, I digress.

After I’d stopped sniffling like a whiny bitch, a perky chick with long blonde hair was ushering us into a van. Without checking her ID, I hoped we weren’t going off to have our internal organs sliced out (altho, anyone on The Twitter knows I have beautiful kidneys – organ harvesters should BE so lucky), but, I figured, “what the shit? Live a little, AB” as I hopped aboard.

The perky blonde jabbered on at us while we drove past all the places where the greats in country music gave us our roots.

You’d probably not know it, but I’m sorta a music person. Not in the LEMMIE SEE AS MANY CONCERTS AS POSSIBLE kind of way, but I was raised around music. Each Saturday night, my dad and I would stay up until midnight, listening to the Midnight Special, a show put out by our local radio station. It was there that I cut my teeth on the roots of modern rock-n-roll (if there is such a thing) bluegrass, country, folk, and the ubiquitous anti-war songs. Music may not define me, but it flows through these here *taps arm* veins.

We stepped into RCA Studio B, where so many greats had once recorded, and, in a brilliant twist, Roy Orbison’s, “Only The Lonely” cued up immediately. I’d much prefer Journey, Pantera or Styx to cue up when I enter a room, but you know – can’t have it all ways. I, once again, stood with my back to the group, facing the wall while I composed myself. Just what I’d needed – the world’s most depressing song to come on at THAT moment.

Then we saw this. I nearly got a lady-boner:

Studio B Microphone

After I touched the microphone, I wandered into the actual recording studio where The Greats had once stood.

Then I decided that even though I couldn’t play the piano, what I REALLY needed was a Honky Tonk Piano. I got busted trying to move this particular piano into my purse:


I thought it would do wonders for my mood.

They didn’t seem to see it that way.

posted under I Suck At Life
16 Comments to

“NashTucky: The Midnight Special”

  1. On July 20th, 2012 at 1:17 pm Grace Says:

    Damn them for spoiling your piano thievery!

  2. On July 20th, 2012 at 2:46 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s like THAT piano has a special meaning or some shit. I call bullshit.

  3. On July 20th, 2012 at 1:50 pm Regina Says:

    I think we had the same perky blonde on our tour too! She totally knows her stuff.

  4. On July 20th, 2012 at 2:46 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    And? Cute as a damn button.

  5. On July 20th, 2012 at 3:00 pm Pete In Az Says:

    “Grimly we followed the chipper-sounding GPS lady (who I felt like throat-punching, truthfully),”

    If I ever get one of those things, I’m going to get a screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters and put it on permanent mute.

  6. On July 20th, 2012 at 3:43 pm Chelle Says:

    I think there ought to be different voices you can choose. I would choose the one that screams at you “TURN AROUND YOU STUPID BITCH, YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!!” None of that polite “recalculating” shit.

    Justin says they ought to have one in different dialects or accents. I don’t do those well, but something like “Hey mothafucka, where the FUCK do you think YOU’RE going? This be the wrong fuckin’ way!” Or something along those lines. That’s a voice I could definitely get behind.

  7. On July 20th, 2012 at 4:59 pm Pete In Az Says:


    I could live with that.

  8. On July 20th, 2012 at 11:26 pm Courtney Says:

    Alan Rickman doing his best Snape impersonation. “How extraordinarily like your father you are. He would have missed the turn off too. Turn off and go back, you pathetic fool.” “I see you have missed exit 25-B, again. Make a u-turn when possible, you bumbling idiot.” “Turn left in one mile. Do not disappoint me.” “Alwaaaayyys…look before merging”.

    I would pay extra for that.

  9. On July 20th, 2012 at 4:33 pm shelley goldwasser Says:

    Kind people like that can catch you off guard from time to time, but it’s nothing a little pharmaceutical cocktail can’t fix.

  10. On July 20th, 2012 at 4:39 pm Jolie Says:

    On the way home from FL my copilot put my GPS on something like Mandarin. I was like WHAT THE…eh, it just made me look up to see what it was saying with the arrows. Until it got to a complicated intersection then I was all “IMMA KILL YOU IF WE GET LOST B/C YOU PUT IT ON SOME LANGUAGE NONE OF US UNDERSTAND!” good times road trippin’, good times. I wanna see the bag you can fit a piano into. Dude, I thought mine was heavy!

  11. On July 20th, 2012 at 5:00 pm katrina Says:

    hahaha….. you should’ve stuffed that sweet mic in your purse!

  12. On July 20th, 2012 at 6:29 pm alexis Says:

    Did you at least pound out a lovely rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel” or a similar classic on the piano before the Nashville nazi militia pried your fingers off it?

  13. On July 20th, 2012 at 8:37 pm jeri Says:

    Those tour ladies are a piece of work. Well, I’ve actually only been on one tour ever, and we were asked to leave. We being me and my FATHER. Apparently he was being “disrespectful.” Oops, I thought he was funny. Nice music memory about your dad, mine just got me thrown out of historical landmarks.

  14. On July 21st, 2012 at 9:05 pm Marta Says:

    I would have touched it too.

  15. On July 22nd, 2012 at 8:14 am Manda Says:

    Styx. Yes. If “Renegade” would come on any time I entered a room that would be amazing. Actually it would have to start before I entered the room, so the acapella part could build suspense and then I could dramatically burst through the double doors (there would have to be double doors) when whatsisface the singer goes “aaaaggghhhhhh!”

  16. On July 23rd, 2012 at 12:35 am Devan Says:

    Awe, I am glad that, so far, all of the stories have nice people in them. You stayed at Opryland hotel? Big Baller!
    Dennis DeYoung was the Styx lead singer.

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