Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Support bacteria...the only culture some people have (by Tony C)


Today's guest blogger is Tony Cradic - Christian, husband, father, blogger and musician. I seem to meet a lot of musicians in the blogosphere, sort of like in the non-virtual world. Well, Tony's a drummer, so technically he's not really a musician. (SNORT! Sorry, Tony. Couldn't help myself.) Here's a little background on Tony in his own words:

I was a religious nomad for many years. Although raised in a Christian home, my faith was invaded by doubt shortly after arriving for college. I began to explore different religions and belief systems before coming to an agnostic state. I dwelled there for many years. My revival came in the early years of 2000. I continue to seek answers but understand now that God never intended for us to know or discover everything. Once I stopped boxing in God with secular limitations and accepted His true omnipotence, my battle was over. My ideas are by no means new and my beliefs are as ancient as the Crucifixion, but they make me who I am today. Tony C Today, like the USA Today, is always in color and usually on the lighter side of things.

And now here's Tony's exciting adventure into the world of culture:

My teenager has been playing on a competitive soccer team now for about 5 years. As for me, I never played the game, much less understood the concept of running around for over an hour to win or lose 1-0 and never legally hitting anyone...but then again, I spent my teenage years banging my head into other teenagers playing the football spelled with two o's. Point goes to the current day teenager.

Playing on a travelling team has allowed us to play in soccer tournaments in other cities and take in the 'best of' what the host town offers. This past weekend was a revisit to the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Our prior visit a year ago was somewhat limited by an eleven month old in tow, so this year Mrs. Tony C wanted to experience the cultured downtown area on a weekend evening and expose our girls to a taste of the artsy side.

Now, I know some of you are trying to wrap your head around the words North Carolina, cultured, and artsy all in the same sentence, but downtown Asheville has really emerged as a mixing grounds of artist, musicians, locals and tourist...at least according to a visitor website I looked up.



Mrs. Tony C (reading from tourist brochure): Asheville skipped the urban renewal process that stripped the character from many downtowns...

Tony C: Sounds eclectic (eye roll).

Mrs. Tony C: I'll bet the buildings are really old and beautiful. Didn't you always want to be an architect?

Tony C: Actually that's George Costanza...I wanted to be an astronaut...

Mrs. Tony C: Astronaut...architect...whatever. Sounds like an excellent place to expose the girls to a different cultural environment.

Tony C: So is a NASCAR race, but...

Mrs. Tony C: Tony! Don't start! We have an obligation in the educational process of our girls. We'll go downtown after the second game and walk around. I heard there's a great pizza place called the Mellow Mushroom downtown....sound okay?

Tony C: Sounds fantastically stoner...

Mrs. Tony C: Tony!

Point goes to Mrs. Tony C.

After conducting a drive-by to check out the downtown scene, I found a relatively close parking spot because it was still early. Navigating the 'un-renewed' streets of the downtown area was quite interesting and using the GPS on my Blackberry was no help. Finding our dining destination would require my innate sense of navigation....good thing I was along.

So we wondered around aimlessly in the downtown area while I tried to orient my internal compass for over an hour. Along the way, our girls were definitely exposed to a new cultural experience that included new vocabulary words, public marijuana smoking, three exposed breast, an impromptu phallic sculpture, and a crack ho...well...okay, I didn't actually see the crack, but she left no doubt about the ho part.

Point goes to Mrs. Tony C. (for educational experience).

Teenager: Is that art dad? (Pointing at street performer painted white head to toe)

Tony C: That's performance art dear.

Teenager: Is that art? (Pointing to sculpture of old junk parts)

Mrs. Tony C: That's welding metal art.

Tony C: A.K.A. lowbrow... (Hateful glance from Mrs. Tony C)

Teenager: A.K.A? What's that? Hey...is that art?

Tony C: A.K.A...also known as...and no, that's a lady breastfeeding...don't stare.

It was about this time I gave up on my internal GPS and asked directions from a lady with more facial piercings than I would have believed humanly possible. We were actually only a block or so away from the Mellow Mushroom...which turned out to be a pretty good place to eat. I was just a little paranoid about the green on top of our pizza, but turns out it was actually just oregano.

Point to Mrs. Tony C.

The walk back to the car was a pretty quick pace...especially when stuffed with pizza and soda. The two year old was completely worn out from a day in the sun, as was the teenager from a day on the field. I suddenly realized there were very few other people with strollers...very few...and all of them had the same look of astonishment I'm sure adorned mine and my wife's face. Just before leaving the happening downtown area, we crossed one last performing artist... a well proportioned young lady in only a golden bodysuit and bright, white wig… frozen in place.

Tony C: Remember what that's called? (Stopping to check her out)

Teenager: Performing art?

Tony C: Yes it is...let's give her a dollar and see what she does.

Mrs. Tony C: Tony! (soul-piercing glare)

Tony C: Second thought, let's get to the car before it gets dark.

Shut out…once again.

To read more from Tony C, visit him at Tony C Today and follow him on the twitter at @TonyCToday.

Oh, and incidentally - BEST. HEADER PICTURE. EVER. Don't believe me? Go check it out.

10 comments:

Helen said...

Yeah, we have neighborhoods like that in Chicago. I avoid them. I don't get much culture. I do eat yogurt though...

bman said...

Awesome. "No, that's a lady breastfeeding. Don't stare."

HAHA!

Great post! The perfect distraction as my video project renders at 1:30 in the AM. Thanks!

Nick the Geek said...

I love visiting places like that, but not with my kids so much. Actually down town where I live isn't to dissimilar. Sure we don't have some of the worst problems exposed (pun intended) publicly, but we do have all the same kind of people hanging out on Main street. I like to go down there and hang out with them. I need to clear more time in my schedule for that.

Jeanne Damoff said...

Love this post! Real-life transcribed conversations make some of the best blog fodder ever. Also, Mrs. Tony C must be a woman of great patience. ;)

Helen said...

You know, I just read what NtG wrote, and I realize that I am so wrong! Those are exactly the neighborhoods where a Christian needs to reach out, not avoid in horror. Thanks Nick!

Bridget Chumbley said...

I love Mrs. Tony C.
Great post...lots to 'think' about!

David said...

Is that art? Priceless! Thanks for educating your kids! And this Mrs. Tony C. is sounding like a grown up and all. ;o]

Billy Coffey said...

This is exactly why I avoid cities at all costs.

That was a great post, Tony.

Tony C said...

Thanks Katdish for letting me be your guest blogger. You have an awesome blog, and I feel honored to be included.

Thanks for each comment also. You guys hang out in one of the coolest place on the net...

God bless and I love you guys! (see Tony C Today to have a bigger appreciation of that last part)

Lula! said...

OK, this was brilliant, as all of Tony's posts are. But what irks my stuff is that Asheville is TOTALLY ripping off on Austin.

"Keep Austin Weird" as been their slogan for ages. And Austin is way better than Asheville. I don't even feel badly for saying that, especially since A'ville is less than 2 hours from me.

Oh well...

Yeah, I picked that one thing to harp on in the comments. That's ok. Tony knows me...and loves me...and his wife is hard rockin'.