It turns out that I apparently suck at having a life. After talking about wanting to go out and even after spending hours looking for something to do, my going out consisted of a trip to the library. Most of the time, I love my neighborhood. Although it's part of a reasonably large suburb of a major city, my neighborhood is like its own self-contained small town. I love being able to walk for a lot of my errands, to the library, the post office, the movie theater, etc. But like a lot of small towns, there's not a lot to do, either in my neighborhood, in the adjacent parts of the city, or in the nearest town (supposedly, that is actually a "small" town, but as I come from a town that had a population of about 2,000 when I lived there, my idea of "small" is rather different).
There was a concert by my city's symphony, which was more expensive than I really wanted, especially for a program I wouldn't have wanted to buy on CD for much less. The other live music option was a cover band called "Spearing Britney" at the big meet market bar/restaurant. While that might have been entertaining in a train wreck kind of way, it wasn't worth braving the smoke, the siliconed bimbos in search of sugar daddies or the men looking for trophy wives (a client once dragged me there, and it was a real experience, one I don't care to repeat). Then it was "community mulch day" in the adjacent town, and there was a craft fair. Otherwise, the only things to do around here are go to movies, go shopping and go out to eat.
What I was looking for was, admittedly, rather limited. I didn't want to do the kind of thing that involves sitting in a designated seat in the dark, watching or listening to something. The possibility of some kind of social interaction would have been nice. I wanted acoustic or minimally amplified music because I can't really handle loud sounds, and it had to be a non-smoking environment because if I'm around much smoke for any length of time, I tend to come down with a nasty case of bronchitis. So, basically I wanted something in the realm of a small jazz combo, folk music, chamber music, etc. I would have been happy with a guy with a guitar in a coffee shop. I did find a few things that might have worked, including an Irish pub with live Irish music and no smoking, but they were all on the exact opposite side of Dallas, and I wasn't sure a night out was worth a 40-mile round trip, especially on roads that have had a high number of drunk driving fatalities recently.
The sad thing is that I've lived in this neighborhood since 1992, and this is the first time I've realized the total lack of things to do around here. That says something about my social life, and might explain my tendency toward being a homebody. In my defense, though, for large portions of the time I've lived here, a lot of my friends lived across town, so I tended to go there for going out. It's not like I've been sitting at home all this time. Though I guess it is a sign that I'm getting old that I now think about things like the distance I had to drive and the possible safety issues.
At least I'm going out tonight, to an advance screening of the Battlestar Galactica Razor movie (if I can manage to get in -- it's one of those things where they give out many more passes than there are seats). Next weekend, the high school show choir is doing a concert, so that's a possible something to do.
In other news, I'm trying to get a little more organized around here. Since I'm sure there are some people who are only interested in the writing stuff and others who aren't interested in that at all, I'm planning to post articles on writing every other Wednesday, starting this week. That way, you'll know which day to come (or avoid) if that's your area of interest. I've also started a mailing list, where you can get the writing article sent to your in-box. I'm sure no one reading this would need such a thing, since you're already here and reading at least semi-regularly, but it might be of interest if you want an archive of the articles or if you know someone who's a writer but who isn't interested enough in my books to bother reading the blog daily in hopes that something about writing will be posted. You can register for the mailing list here.