The reason for the drought is pretty simple.
I didn't really blog.
The Browns [Part I]
Some friends, April and Kelly, bought me a Browns jersey. They gave it to me a while back, and I've been wearing it every Sunday afternoon since. They put Clay Matthews' retired number 57 on it. They weren't aware of the legendary linebacker's accolades as a part of the Cleveland Browns franchise. They were just making a Five Sore... reference. They also put my last name on the back. Clay Matthews Thiessen. Very close. If I had a clone or a brother named Matthew, it'd be perfect. Love it. Thanks ladies.
The Browns played the at the Baltimore Ravens on November 18th. The Bands played at the Baltimore City on November 18th. For a while I had known I was going to be spending this brisk November Sunday merely blocks down the street from where Derek, Braylon, The Amazing Joe Thomas, Jamal, Mr. Jurevicius, and K. Winslow were clocking in. I had planned on watching them work in person, but I had fallen ill about five days prior. I wasn't quite up to sitting in cold weather and wearing some fan's spilled Bud Light. If you follow the NFL, you may remember that the Browns won the game with a crazy, last-second, tying field goal in regulation, and a victorious three point boot in overtime. Despite being on sleepytime meds and my 23rd cup of tea, there was much "jouissance" in reaction to this freakish act of ricochet.
I felt better.
I felt like I had enough voice to have a good show.
The Browns cured me. Football is awesome.
With this new found exuberance for life, I thought it fitting that I'd celebrate. I'll admit that I was a bit nervous waiting to walk up the steps to the stage where I would play my final song of the night, cloaked in my new Browns jersey. I boarded and struck my pre-meditated Heisman pose. The boos rained down like a bittersweet symphony. I walked to the microphone, confessed that I was celebrating a victory that was really big for the Browns, and then removed my jersey (under which I was wearing the traditional snap down collared shirt). While I did this, I said something to the extent of how I had had my fun, and I wasn't going to distract from the music with football tomfoolery any more. Then I spotted someone in the front row with a Todd Heap Raven's jersey. It appeared that as an act of good nature, I should wear the Raven's jersey while I sing the song. The thought was something shy of blasphemy. I kind of regret going through with the idea, but I did have thousands of people looking at me with laser eyes. I got chicken.
The next day began my Thanksgiving Week.
I was thankful to be off the road for a few days. I love touring (this tour especially), but its always nice to not live in close quarters with eleven other dudes for a few days.
The first thing on the menu was a little trim. I walked in the door, looked in the mirror, walked upstairs, and shaved my lip.
I got to say the prayer before we ate on Thanksgiving. I've never done that before. It made me smile... and kinda nervous.
I had a really busy time around the holiday. I spent most of it with my girlfriend, Shannon, and we visited three towns (full of friends and family) in three days. We spent more hours awake then we wanted to, and we did a fair bit of driving. It was all worth it, however, cause we got to see some wonderful people and have a blast hanging out with each other.
The Browns [Part II]
I came home to Ohio, and within two and a half hours there was a knock on my door. My buddy Joe was the first of some friends to arrive. We picked up some Crossroads Pizza (by far the most amazing thing to come out of Bolivar, OH), and he casually asked me if I'd like to go to the Browns game on Sunday. Thoughts of sitting in cold weather wearing some fan's spilled Bud Light were followed by an enthusiastic "yes". We made plans to head up to Cleveland Sunday morning. I was elated because I had not yet seen the Browns play (cause I missed out the week before), and I had never been to the Brown's stadium. All of this was unbeknownst to Joe, but I'm glad he asked me to go.
On Sunday morning I threw on six or seven layers of clothing (the topmost layer was browns and orange). Despite some congestion at the gate and a decent line for the bratwursts, we got to our seats with about eight minutes left in the first quarter. The game was awesome. The Brownies won, and I got to chat with the guy next to me about the offensive coordinator. I'm a nerd.
The worst part of the week was definitely finding out about Casey Calvert's passing. Casey was the guitarist for Hawthorne Heights, and we shared a ton of great times together on the Nintendo Fusion Tour. He was a great guy and a great hang. He was always laughing and making me feel good about myself. My condolences to his friends, family, band. I assume that losing a band mate is something akin to losing a brother. I can't imagine how torn up they have to be.
We had some really fun shows in IL, OH, PA, and NY, but because of my cough, they weren't quite what they could've been. I worked hard at recuperating. Lots of sleep, meds, and tea.
Because I hadn't played a show healthy in a while, I was really excited to fly out to the west coast to start this last week of tour.
The shows have been some of the best of the tour, and we're all having a really great time spending these last few days together. Dave is only going to be playing with us for a couple more shows, so its great that we're loving every minute of them.
A big thank you goes out to all the friends that have come out to these shows and showered Dave and the band with support. We got a rad scrap book and a cool youtube video from some fans. We looked at both things together as a band, and we had some good times reminiscing about some golden olden days.
We're going to try work some tour olympics into these last few dates. Events may consist of Bocce Ball, Darts, Sharp Shooting, Scrabble, karaoke, etc.
Its getting to the part of a tour where bands and crew traditionally start pranking each other. We've pranked some people quite nicely in the past, but Relient K policy has morphed into opting for the treat rather than the trick. I'd rather do something funny to a band than something malicious.
I suppose karma was paying us back last night, when Switchfoot's lighting engineer, Taylor, decided to "prank" us. During our rendition of Sleigh Ride, Taylor repelled from the 40ft tall catwalk to the stage while dressed in the customary Santa Claus outfit. He threw out candy canes (you can see em in the photo) as he descended, and he brought joy to the faces of the children. It was honestly the coolest thing that's ever happened to us on stage.
Till next time.