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*DING* You're Now Free to Move About Your Life

Something's been stuck in the back of my head for a couple of weeks (do the math, you'll know where this post is going, and you can just skip it and head on over to CrabbyDad, if you want. I won't hold it against you. This post is my therapy, not yours, I get it).

So, here's what's been stuck. Like a splinter that I didn't know was there. Which is to say, I knew something was there but didn't get that it was a splinter that needed to be removed before it festered.

Splinter discovered, festering avoided. But now I'm going to over-analyze the splinter for a while before I throw it in the trash because I'm wondering, how the f*** did it get there in the first place??

What do you think of when you hear the words 'Life Changing?'

Actually. F**k it. There's no point to this post. (and yet I'm gonna ramble on some more, feel free to cash your chips out now, if you want).

I found the splinter. It was 'what was so GREAT about RRFC that people compare it to the birth of their child?'

And clearly that's not a question I can answer. I was in four different bands in four different days in four different cities with people I didn't know. And we rocked out. Was it cool? Hell yeah. Did I enjoy it? You bet. Do I think I made some friends I'll keep in touch with and others that have already forgotten my name? Without a doubt.

Was there anyway it could compare to the birth of my daughter? F**k no. Is it going to have more of an impact on my life than heart surgery at age 25? Not a chance. Is it going to cause me to evaluate what's important in my life the way I did when I found out my dad was diagnosed with the big C in the prostate? Um...no. Or that my best friend has a terminal disease? Not even close.

Was it at all in any way shape or form better than three hours of jamming with Darrin and Ian the week before with pizza and awesomely funny (and somewhat disturbing British television shows)? I can say this with ALL honesty...no.

No it wasn't.

This post isn't likely to end up on any of the publicity pages on the rockcamp site. And I'm ok with that.

I'm not going to lie. I DO feel blessed to have won the contest. The friendships that I did make are priceless. The merch that I received was far superior to anything I've ever played (although it hasn't quite elevated my playing...not yet anyway). But I'm wrapping that in to one package....the contest. There were some things that I'll take away that were special moments but that's all they were...moments. Not a catalyst for me to re-structure my entire life.

(Sometimes I really think that I would have been better off with just the guitar and gift card :-) because clearly I'm not gushing about this the way the other testimonies did. I think I'm probably reading too much into it-what else is new)

I don't know that I consider it life changing. I think of it more as a handful of good memories, and pleasing anecdotes to pass on whilst rocking on the front porch at the retirement center.

And I guess that's the 'fantasy' part of it, isn't it? We say it as one word rockandrollfantasycamp, but the key is fantasy.

You see, that's why the jamming with Darrin and Ian was WAY better than anything that happened on the camp. Because it was REAL. It wasn't staged. None of us were pretending to be rockstars. We were being real...and it felt really effing good. And THOSE memories mean more to me than the Ozzy stories that Mark Hudson's probably told a hundred times to as many people or anything else that happened on the trip.

The one thing that I guess I really took away from it is that the people that are fake and going through the motions of liking you are the ones that will suck the life out of you if you let them. By giving myself over to frustration I lost something on that first day. And it put a little tinge of panic in the back of my mind for the whole trip that I am almost certain none of the other VIPs went through. And that's not to say 'poor me'...it's just to say that I realize that I'm just another guy. And I'm not in the same place in my life as some of these other people. And that's OK.

And that to get stuck in the fantasy of it all WOULD change my life...but not in the way that will be helpful as a father to my children...or a husband to my wife. It's the change that would get me stuck in the endless loop of 'What Ifs' (it's like the old BASIC days of the endless loop: 10 Print "Hello World"; 20 Goto 10).

I'm not going to ask any of you to go to the Rock Camp site and vote for any of the bands I was in. I don't want to have the emotional investment of trying to get in the top 3 for the selection process of the contest to go to the London camp. And this will in all likelihood be my last post for quite some time that references the rock and roll fantasy camp. Because it's time to move on. (I can almost hear the cheers now).

The Captain has just turned off the seatbelt sign, and I need to go pee.

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