My best friend in junior high and high school was Jessica, and even though we're now on opposite coasts, we remain great friends. Growing up, Jessica and I spent much time in her basement playing Super Mario Brothers, and her little brother Nate hung out with us sometimes, too, mostly to show us how much better he was at video games.
Nate was always awesomely talented, musically. He played trumpet and piano. While he was still in his mid-teens, he and some friends formed an honest-to-goodness jazz band and got gigs fairly often. During Nate's college years, he took time off to play in the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Nate is now modestly famous as a member of Bright Eyes and Conor Oberst's latest project, the Mystic Valley Band. The Mystic Valley Band played Portland last night. Jessica flew out from New York to meet me and my friend, and we all went to the show. Nate got us all back-stage passes, so after the show (which was super) we hung out with the band for a few minutes. I felt incredibly old and dorky, but they were all gracious. The drummer regaled us with tales of hanging out with Bill Murray at South by Southwest. Being a huge Bill Murray fan, I was very impressed.
Jessica is winging her way back to New York. It was so fun to see her, and to see Nate, who in my mind is still twelve. How can he be thirty?
Tomorrow my mom and I are headed over to Cape Arago to see the tide pools.