Hey, Internet! I’m Will, the guy who’s throwing this little writing party, and this is the part where I’m more or less obligated to talk a bit about myself. I’m a middle-aged music nerd who’s happily married to a gorgeous, kind woman who not only doesn’t hate my hobby but shares it (which means, right, I’m a unicorn). We are the incredibly fortunate parents of a seriously premature, but now thriving, five and a half year old who has made every cliché in the world about how your kids become your world ring truer than I’d ever imagined they could. In those same five and a half years, I have lost both of my own parents to cancer, two years apart. The duality of learning how to be a parent while simultaneously losing my own is quite a thing, but I (hopefully) do a bit better with it each day.
I’m old enough that when I was young the phrase “social anxiety” wasn’t discussed in polite company, but I’ve no doubt it’s a thing for me. It’s weird: I can give a presentation to a large audience with barely a butterfly in the stomach, but talk to someone one on one with no one else I know immediately around? Terrifying and impossible and good God, where’s the bar in this place anyway? On the other hand, I’m also the kind of guy who decided, as the Covid pandemic descended upon us, that 47 was the right age to cultivate my first mohawk. A year and a piece later, I’m still rocking it. So, do I like the spotlight and the attention? NO! But also yes, but also sometimes but then again maybe not. So yeah, I’m blogger material for sure.
Speaking of which, while it’s my first time here in these new digs, it’s not my first time writing stuff on the internet. About a decade-ish ago, I started a music-plus-other-stuff-sometimes blog called Turned On Its Ear (link right here) that ran from 2011 until I got married in late 2014, at which point there was too much living and learning going on and the writing took a backseat. I keep the archives alive (although many of the links are now likely broken), and do my best to clean out the comment spammers (my apologies if you headed over there looking for some tips about the BEST ONLINE CASINO), but that was then and this is now, and this isn’t just a continuation of that on a new platform with a new name. I still like a lot of what I wrote there, but this blog will be a little more essay-centric and real-life based.
Lastly, we come back to what you likely saw first: what’s in a name? I’m an old-school punk and metal guy at heart musically, so why does this blog take its name from a Jimmy Buffett lyric? Thanks for pretending to ask! For the first, last and only time on this blog, I’ll write the following sentence: it’s my wife’s fault. She was originally the parrothead in our relationship, with me as a hard dissent: “why on earth would I want to listen to an entire album by the “Margaritaville” guy?” “No”, she said, “you need to listen to the details and the storytelling in his early material.” In the end, she was right, both about Buffett as a songwriter and about how one of the greatest gifts we can give to our loved ones is a nudge to reconsider something great we’d previously been willfully blind to.
It’s also a perfect phrase for me. I live southeast of disorder most of the time. I’m aware of the chaos. I may even be a catalyst for or direct participant in it, but I’m always, above all else, an observer of it. I don’t always know what to do about or with it, but I’m always hoping to learn, or at least talk through it in an attempt to better understand it all.
Thanks for listening in while I do just that. Welcome aboard!