I met some folks for lunch on Monday, something I rarely do, and now I remember why. We agreed to meet at Chili's at 11:30, and I figured we could easily be in and out an hour. I began to suspect that my confidence was ill-placed when the host asked each new set of prospective patrons if they had any friends who were interested in working as waiters. (His exact words were "do you happen to have about twenty friends who would come to work here?")
While I was waiting for the folks I was meeting, my former blogging bud Kelly Stark showed up and we briefly commiserated with one another over the sad state of restaurant service in boomtown Midland. "At least you'll have something to blog about," Kelly said (just as he got a table, and I didn't, not that I'm bitter).
Well, he didn't know the half of it. Setting aside the fact that in a restaurant that was perhaps 75% occupied, it took an hour and fifteen minutes to get our food - I had mine immediately decanted into a styrofoam container and ate it back at the office - I was at Chili's for the primary purpose of getting a story to blog about.
It seems that a couple of months ago someone stumbled across this post about ballroom dancing in West Texas and tracked me down. He contacted me by phone and said that he managed a dance studio in Oklahoma City, and they were planning to open a new studio in Midland. He wanted to visit with me about the dance scene - if you can call it that - in our fair burg. Fast forward to last Monday, and I'll be darned if four people from OKC didn't show up, sign a lease on some space, and find places to live (a minor miracle in itself) in preparation for the new studio to open in early January.
I'll be posting more details about the new business soon; consider this as a teaser. The studio will be located in the same shopping center as Chili's and Abuelo's and will be a full service operation with a half dozen fulltime instructors, offering private and group lessons for all levels of experience, and all dance steps. They also plan to sponsor regular social dances open to the public that will give us more opportunities to cut a rug, so to speak. Having met the principals, I think the operation will be a great addition to our community (and they were quite impressed with the friendliness of Midlanders and the, um, vigor of the economy in these here parts).
A parallel storyline springs from the fact that despite my earnest neglect of this blog, people keep noticing it. In fact, it seems that the less I write, the more attention I get, which is just weird. For example, I was contacted by a reporter with AOL News to do a phone interview about what it was like to live in an oil boom, and how this boom was different from those that came before. The reporter had found me via the Gazette, and she expressed surprise when I told her I'd been blogging for ten years. (She probably figured I'd be better at it by now.)
And a week or so ago I was contacted by a booking agent for a Christian Christmas music tour coming through town to see if I'd be interested in free tickets to the show in exchange for doing a review. They even offered to set up interviews with the performers (which includes some heavy hitters like Sanctus Real). As it turns out, I have other commitments that will keep me from taking advantage of the opportunity, but I was sort of flattered.
I've pretty much forgotten the point I set out to make at the beginning of this post, but I think the main thing we can all take away from this is that half the battle is just showing up, and the other 90% is making people think you know what you're talking about, which in my case apparently works best if I say nothing at all. This post is a prime example, even if it took 700 words to accomplish that goal.