I'm a huge fan of "best/worst" moments. It might even be a little sick how much I like them. You remember those "best/worst" moments, right? Of course you do - like the time you threw up right before kissing your 7th grade crush (1). Or the time you called your Dad a 'pap-smear', thinking it was a nickname for 'pappy' (2). Or the time Barry from HR 'replied all' to a company-wide e-mail and wrote "retards" instead of "regards" (3). OR that time in May of 2010 when you and a friend found yourselves stranded in Manassas, VA at 4am, while sporting 'Tom Selleck travel mustaches'.
That's the one - that last one right there: Manassas, Virginia. This song is an instant flashbulb memory of the (tedious) beginning of a trip to Southeast Asia. My friend
and I had some awful plane delays the night before and ended up spending a day / night in Virginia trying to rebook our flight, get some sort of refund, and make it to TH without losing too much time. I first heard this song at 11am while lying face down on a bench in the middle of Dulles International Airport, and it was a total pick-me-up. I was running on fumes from the night before and by 11am I was most likely drooling and quoting "Summer School" (4). As soon as my friend played me this cozy National song, I caught my second wind and my 'Tim brain' started getting back on track:
What instrument is that (5)?
Who is Matt Berninger talking about (6)?
Will Pavement ever get back together (7)?
Where would we be without blind optimism? Nowhere - the guy would never get the girl, the house would never get built, the album would never get made, and Babe the pig would never make it to the big city. That's exactly where this song puts me - in the middle of nowhere, VA - feeling a little whacky and under-rested, but filled with optimism: excited to see new things, go new places and ready to eat things that you're not supposed to eat. That's a wonderful thing that music does - it produces instant biographical memories that can be good, bad, or indifferent - and that's where this song leaves me: punch-drunk in Manassas, on the brink of something big, ready to eat a gym bag's worth of durian.
A side note about Manassas: if you haven't been, you should go - it's awesome. From what I saw - there's a bowling camp, the movie 'Racing with the Moon (8)' is played non-stop, on all television stations, and the woman you bump into while buying a yogurt will tell you that "the world is ending because of the Mormons". So it's got some interesting things going for it - I would love to go to a bowling camp.
- She was not amused.
- He was not amused.
- All except Barry were amused / offended.
- Watch this.
- Wind instruments – flutes, i think?
- Carin Besser.
- Yes, briefly in the fall of 2010.
- Don't watch this.