I forgot to mention, I also saw my first real live Segway today. The guy riding it maneuvered it deftly and it handled well amid the crowd.
August 2003 Archives
At this moment, I am completely saturated with grease, sugar, and sunshine. I feel so good. Today was day one of the two day Taste of Madison on the Capital Square.
I was up on the square at 11 this morning, to work the Planned Parenthood table at the Farmer's Market. Standing near our table were a couple of anti-choice activists (both men) with rather graphic signs. Closer to our table was Kay, a 76-year old pro-choice activist, and a favorite of the Planned Parenthood tablers. She comes down to the market with a simple, hand-made placard that says only "I'm pro-choice", and stands by our table so long as the protesters are there. Many people passing by greet her by name, and she happily enages them in pleasant conversation. She is also quite deft at handling those who would argue with her or put her down. On man came up to her and asked how old she was (a fairly rude question to begin with). This man, who was about half her age then started quizzing her on what she would be doing now if her mother had aborted her 76 years ago. Yeah. He closed his arguement by telling her that when she died (implying that it would be really soon) she was going to hell, but that he would most assuredly go to heaven, and that those were the only two options. I may be a Christian, but opinionated, in-your-face types really bug me. How unChristlike. Fortunately, Kay held her ground beautifully. When I'm 76, I want to be Kay.
We had another not quite a protestor. He first spent quite a bit of time speaking with the anti-choicers, but I didn't pay him much mind since we were busy. However, after a time he came over to our table and started asking us if our message was so important, would we be out there tabling at the same time on a Tuesday morning? When we said that we wouldn't since no one would be there and as volunteers we would be at work or school. Then he started harranging us about being leeches for using someone else's event to promote our cause. He said that he had no problem with our cause, but with our using the event. We really didn't understand what he wanted, and he wouldn't go away. He just stood there and kept being confrontational, which kept people away. I actually found myself feeling camraderie with the anti-choicers he'd been harranging just before.
No doubt he would have kept it up for quite awhile, and then moved on to the next table...the Tenant Resource Center. However, I had had quite enough. I thanked him for his opinion and asked him if her would please move on (he was directly in front of the table, blocking access to the petitions and freebies). I asked several times and he refused and continued to harrass. So, I did something I never thought I'd do. I went to find security. By the time I returned, he had disappeared, so the other people with info tables were spared his confrontational weirdness. Huzzah. What a jerk, though.
By the time we took down the table, all of the market had been packed up early, to clear the way for the ToM. I missed being able to score my discounted produce, but there will be other weeks.
I strolled across the Capital lawn and found a cozy spot to sit and read while the festival got set up. I also took time to get a copy of the guide and read through the list of restaurants and offerings. Sixty-nine different restaurants had booths, and everything was $1, 2 or 3. (There was a scant few $2.50 and one $1.50 items, but most everything was priced for ease of change-making.)
With so many choices, I knew I had to choose wisely. Not only could my pocketbook take a hit of more than ~$10, but one can only eat so much food in a short time. My gluttony must have its limits. So, eher we go:
I started out with a $1 eggroll from Bluefin. Just what I'd been craving for a while, and it was quite tasty. However, sweet and sour sauce sure does draw the bees.
I took a little time to read the paper and digest, then headed up the street to the Loose Juice booth (try saying that five times fast), where they had frozen fruit dipped in chocolate for $1. The choiced were strawberries, bananas, and pinapple. Strawberries seems awkward, since they weren't on a stick. I'm not the biggest fan of bananas, though they were certainly convenient. In the end, I went with a giant chunk of fresh frozen pineapple on a popsicle stick, dipped in chocolate before my very eyes. Ooooooooo, so yummy and not at all messy. The fruit was cool and sweet, but avoided the drip factor inherent in most frozen treats. I highly recommend this treat.
More reading, more wandering. It wa a great day for people watching, and the obnoxiousness factor of the crowd was super low. There were four stages around the square, and while none of the bands really drew me in, they made for great background noise.
Next stop: Buraka for the Chicken Peanut stew on injera. I was tempted to try the Dorowot or the Misirwot, since I've never had them, but I wasn't sure how spicy they'd be, and wanted to conserve water. Mmmmmm. One thing that makes me sad is that I wasn't eating this stuff years ago. How much of my life has been wasted on burgers, when I could have been having Chicken Peanut Stew with injera?
Catering by Mike Losse had deep-fried cheese curd for $2, best deal on the square for that cheesy manna from heaven. I think fried cheese curds are among my top reasons for staying in Wisconsin. (Though I hear that in some places they fry things like Oreos!)
At this point, I was starting to feel extremely sated, and it was approaching 6, at which point the Taste of Madison winds down for the day. Last stop was at Nutcracker Sweet for a cone of German Roasted Almonds. Heaven!
Drove home with the top down, feeling fat and happy. I am very tempted to take a nap, as I am off to a partay tonight.
Don't worry, I'll work off this gluttony soon enough. (Though I must mention that Brat Fest is also this weekend!!!)
Or at least it comes to visit. From my front picture window, I have been watching Mars move across the sky for the past few nights. I have a perfect, unobstructed view, right from my loveseat.
Ok, maybe not a thief, but I'm still irritated.
A few months ago I submitted a flavor for the Babcock Hall Ice Cream Jubilee contest. Terrace Cherry: vanilla frozen custard with chocolate covered cherries and cherry swirls. Today I saw the list of finalists. I was not among them, but there is a Terrace Chairy: Cherry ice cream with cherry chunks. Personally, I think mine is a far better idea, both as a flavor and as a name. Cherry ice cream with cherry chunks? Bo-ring!
For the best name, I'm going to have to go with Never Terrace Apart, which is Chocolate with vanilla bean, malt powder, and chopped peanuts. (Not loving the flavor idea, though.) As far as flavors go, I'd love to see Rathskeller Razzleberry make it: Coffee ice cream with raspberries and dark chocolate chunks. Yum.
Many people get crushes on fictional characters; nothing to odd about that. So, raise your hand if you've had a cartoon crush.
I'm currently crushing on Frazz.
...in a totally not at all sort of way.
I can so totally relate to Buffy Season Two.
Tonight I watched Someone Like You with Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman, and I actually liked it. Then I painted my toenails lavender.
Lord help me.
Must sleep now.
My eyes were wide and saucers, and my mouth kept breaking into a silly grin as the artists spun and swooped through the air, playing with gravity as though it were optional. I had never seen them before, but I now know that I must see them again. If your interest has been piqued. they will be performing again tomorrow, Saturday August 23, at 8:30 PM in Orton Park.
Actually, the weather was clear, hot and muggy for Thursday night's performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest at APT. There were no medical emergencies to put a damper on the evening, and so we were all transported by the magic of the play.
And magic there was, provided by Jonathan Gillard Daly's deposed Duke Prospero. (I last saw JGD playing yet another deposed Duke, Senior in As You Like It.) Daly, who bears a resemblence to Sam Waterson, played Prospero both with great dignity, but with a twinkle in his eye. Magic also sang to us in the form of Colleen Madden's Ariel. Far from a "hyperactive child straight for ballet class", Madden carried a sense of peace even in her most frantic moments.
The vile three, Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio were ably portrayed by David Daniel, Kenneth Lee, and Michael Huftile. Daniel's turn as the King was the first of his roles that I thought he brought across of sense of maturity...perhaps it was the beard. Huftile's Usurper provoked an urge to hiss. Brain Robert Mani balanced this rabble with the kind and noble Gonzalo.
The clowns clowned well. Christopher Marshall gave Caliban the faintest thread of sympathy in his savagery. Matt Tallman and Gerard Neugent as Trinculo and Stephano bobbed and weaved their boorish way across the island, inciting fits of giggles with every step.
Matt Schwader and Kimberly Irion, as the lovers, were quite sappy, as all of Shakespeare's comedy lovers tend to be--mooneyed and gushing. Very sweet, with a touch of the silly.
Kudos also go to the costuming. I really want a pair of boots like Antonio's. Hot damn!
Last weekend, while driving down East Wash late at night, I was passed by a guy on a motorcycle. This in itself was not an item of note; I see motorcyclists all the time during the summer. What did grab my attention was the wheelie that he suddenly popped and drove down the street for about half a block. I was torn between a feeling of "You go, man!" and the twisted desire to see him get pulled over by a cop. (The later was mostly due to the fact that his stunt occured in the very same spot that won me my very first speeding ticket, in the fall of 1999.)
It was fun to watch, but personally, I think I will stick to four wheels, thank you very much.
My spot on the river is quite the insectoid wonderland. A few days after meeting the giant wolf spiders, I spotted three very large katydids gleefully making meals of the touch-me-not leaves (a plant that is quite a source of amusement for me. I love making the seed pods explode.)
There is a branch jutting out of the river, about a third of the way from shore. It is part of a larger tree limb that fell in after one of the bigger storms, and has been stuck there all summer. A spider has managed to build a web off of this branch. The hunting must be great, and the competition slim. Yet still I am amazed at the location. I imagine that the spider got there by lowering itself from one of the trees that overhang the river, but I can see know way for the spider to leave. Unless it can fly, swim, or build a boat, it is now stranded. The original filament that lowered it from above is long gone, and all around it is nothing but rushing water. Best of luck to you, little spider!
Some insects would have no problem commuting from the branch. First there are the water bugs, which skim across the surface, doing their best to avoid the greedy mouths of fish. There are the flying insects, like the myriad varieties of dragonfly that flit about all day. And then there was the backswimmer bug I saw today.
I first noticed this bug as it was being chased by a fish, underwater. I thought at first that the fish was chasing a smalled fish or tadpole. The fish caught it, the released it almost immediately. As it started to swim away, I realized that it was an insect, not a fish. The pattern of chase, bite, and release was repeated by several different fish before the insect made it to a rock and crawled out of the water. Fish after fish got this little creature into its mouth, only to spit it back out in an instant. Apparently, the promise of a meal wasn't worth the sting. I got a closer look at it once it made it to the rock and boy, was it a vicious-looking creature. Given that backswimmers will bite humans, I will happily keep my distance, and hope never to encounter one while swimming.
I also managed, at the very last minute, to avoid stepping on a wasp with my sandaled foot. Nearly fell backwards onto the rocks in the river to do so, but I survived without getting stung or crushed. Go me.
A few weeks ago, I was walking down the front stairs at my work. The staircase is rather tall and steep, and the steps themselves are narrower than the length of the average adult foot. About halfway down the stairs, I had a sudden mental image of myself lying in a heap at the foot of the stairs. Barely seconds after this vision, my foot slipped, and my weight shifted in such a way as to tumble down. I grabbed hold of both railings and pulled myself back, though it wrenched my arms in their sockets. I believe I may have even shrieked. I sat down right there, to recover from the shock. My heart was racing, my breath was short, and my arms hurt like hell. However, I was all in one piece.
The incident raised an interesting set of questions for me. Did my mental image cause me to slip, or did it alert my reflexes in time to save myself?
It could easily be argued that by picturing myself at the end of a disastrous tumble, I inadvertently allowed the loss of balance, but it wouldn't explain why I had that picture to begin with.
It could be that my deep subconscious detected the error before it was acted out, and served to warn the rest of my body to react, but at the same time, it is hard to see how my subconscious would have been able to detect that the tractionless sole of my shoe would fail to find purchase on the slick "marble" surface of the stair.
It could also be argued that it was one of the few genuinely useful premonitions I've ever had. I'll never really know, but at least I came out of the experience physically intact.
Anyone out there have any tales of useful premonition?
According to many people writing to Neil Gaiman, Blue Moon ice cream only seems to be available in Wisconsin and the UP (and possibly Cleveland). Is this ture? Having never lived anywhere other than Wisconsin, I wouldn't know. Blue Moon ice cream (while not my favorite) has always just been a part of the ice cream flavor pantheon. I can't really imagine it not being a standard. Can any non-Wisconsinites speak to this?
Tonight's adventure was to drive out to Spring Green to catch American Players Theater's production of Hamlet, with Jim De Vita in the title role.
I drove out with the Jeep top down, cruising in the sunshine. Behind me all the way there was a couple in a convertible, and from the moment I saw them back in the city, I new they'd be going to APT, too. The drive was beautiful and uneventful, and I got there in enough time to eat the picnic lunch that I'd packed. (Mostly stuff from the Farmer's Market yesterday.)
James Ridge was a fabulous Ghost. Properly harrowing. He also played the Player King, which gave a nice continuity to the story. De Vita played Hamlet like he was born for the role. (I know someone else who is born for the role. Maybe someday.) He brooded and stormed, and managed to be quite funny in all of his melancholy. None of the other performances really stood out for me. Not that they were poor, but because Hamlet really stole the show. And, given that the play is called "Hamlet" and that he is rarely not onstage...I'd say that is allowed.
There was a brief interruption...cries of "Is there a doctor in the house?" and "Somebody get an ambulance" came in the middle of Hamlet's soliloquy following the entrance of the Players. Intermission came early, as an old man in one of the front rows had some sort of problem. I never caught what happened, exactly. He was conscious and alert the whole time, but they had him lie down in the aisle until the paramedics arrived. It did look like everything was going to be alright. By the way, there were a lot of doctors in the house.
I was moved to tears by the grief of Hamlet and Laertes over the death of Ophelia. More so knowing that they'd be following her soon.
The drive back was exciting in an "it's very dark and I have the top down, winding country roads at 55 (+) mph in open air, cool wind all around me, warm air coming from the heater by my feet" sort of way, though nothing happened. Wait, I take that back. I did get to see a gigantic moon, rising blood-red over the trees. That was a thrill.
I really want to watch Kiki's Delivery Service, and I have a copy from the library, but it keeps crashing my computer. It will play the FBI warnings, but as soon as the Disney logo appears onscreen....bam. At best the Apple DVD program shuts down. At worst I have to restart the whole computer. It really is pissing me off. I wonderif it is something with this particular copy, or if all copies will do the same thing. It could be some kind of *neener neener* thing against piracy.
Whatever it is, I blame Disney, cuz, why not?
I just recently re-watched Buffy season two on DVD's from the library. Not only do the early seasons kick much ass, but David Boreanez is a mighty fine actor.
True, he has occasionly given a soggy performance, but his characterization of Angel vs. Angelus is a work. His whole demeanor changes, at the drop of a hat if need be. Granted, we have always seen his transformations onscreen, but I believe that if Angel lost his soul again, and we never saw it happen, we would still know the moment we saw him. His whole body language gives him away.
Certainly a pleasure to watch.
I am trying very hard not to do my "I have a Mac and didn't get the worm" dance, but I'm afraid I'm failing.
Someone is going to bitchslap me soon.
Tonight I was craving Chinese. I didn't want delivery, but I didn't want to have to go far, either. So, I decided to check out Bluefin on Sherman (formerly the Imperial Palace). Since I arrived at a little after nine on a Thursday night, I wasn't too surprised to see that the parking lot looked un-busy. I was a wee bit amused to discover that I was the only person in the dining room. Bluefin Nightclub, in the basement, opens at nine, so I got there right as the restuarant was simmering down, but before the club was really stirring.
There was a bit of a funky smell in the air--eau de old carpet or something similar. However, other than the smell (which I ceased to notice after a bit) and the sorry state of the carpeting itself, the interior was rather pleasing.
I ordered the sesame chicken, which came with a bowl of soup and a salad. The soup was a hot and sour that lived up to its name, but the salad was a sad little affair of iceberg lettuce, a single thin slice of tomato, baco-bits, and some flavorless croutons. It hardly seemed worth the effort to eat it, much less to have made it in the first place. The sesame chicken, however, was amazing. Served with rice of appropriate stickiness, it was a plate of chicken battered to a dark golden brown, speckled with sesame seeds, studded with chunks of brocolli, and lying in a pool of sauce.
The brocolli was a little on the tough side, though the flavor was alright. The chicken, oh the chicken. It was delightfully crisp, with an audible crunch when bit, yet it was not dry inside. The crispness and mouth-feel was one of the best I've had in quite awhile. Perhaps not the right entree if one is in the mood for something savory, it was a good dish for a sweethtooth; after a while I was reminded of carmel corn.
My waitress was very attentive, but that goes without saying, as I was her one and only customer at the time. On my way out the door, I picked up a flier for the nightclub, and perhaps I may get back there sometime soon to check it out.
Hippy Christmas, that is. All of the college kids living in the UW campus area move out of their around noon on the 14th and into their new ones around noon on the 15th. (Some don't move, and some don't have the noon-noon wait, but many find themselves homeless overnight.) In the rush, piles of stuff are left on the curbside. Much of it is total crap, but there is a great deal of stuff that is perfectly good, but no one wanted to bother moving. It is a dumpster diver's paradise. (And the city trash collector's nightmare.)
I am very glad that I no longer must face the whole college apartment rigamarole, especially the landlords and the weird rules. They like to make it difficult. I mentioned the noon-noon lease gap that most must face. Add to that the fact that there is very little parking in the Isthmus area, and that U-haul trucks are in such demand for those days that you can usually only reserve them for a few hours at a time. You can't just put your things in a truck, park it somewhere overnight, and then unpack the next day. Somehow everybody manages, but it's a miracle every time.
I always found it to be breakdown-inducing.
In honor of Hitchcock's birthday. I just watched Rear Window.
OTTAWA (CP) - Brushing aside threats of eternal damnation, Prime Minister Jean Chretien promised Tuesday to push forward with legislation that would allow gays and lesbians to marry.more
Chretien appeared unfazed by a warning from a Roman Catholic bishop that his government's same-sex marriage plans will jeopardize his eternal soul.
If he has issues to settle with God, Chretien suggested he won't be resolving them inside the House of Commons.
"I'm a Catholic and I'm praying," the prime minister said, smiling, after a cabinet meeting.
"But I'm the prime minister of Canada. When I'm the prime minister of Canada, I'm acting as a person responsible for the nation.
"And the problem of my religion, I'll deal with it in other circumstances." .....
Now that, my friends, is leadership; knowing when to put aside your own personal religious views and so what is best for the people of your secular country, many of whom many not believe as you do. It is always a tough choice, and many may not thank you for it. Many, in fact, will be ready to condemn you for it. If only I could say the same for our Sunday-school-teacher-in-chief.
I just opened a can of Polar brand crushed pineapple. Polar. Pineapple. Tropical fruit. Anyone see where I'm going with this one?
Yesterday I finally got around to seeing Pirates of the Caribbean and was thoroughly amused by it.
People are right when they say that Johnny Depp makes the movie, but Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, and Geoffery Rush made for an excellent supporting cast. I thought that the CGI worked well to enhance the story, without becoming the story. It was funny and exciting, and I was only a little bit annoyed by the way things worked out ok in the end. Not that I didn't want everything to work out ok in the end, but the way it was done didn't ring true. It was as though someone didn't want to bother figuring out a really good reason for it to work out. Instead we got "And everyone decides to do the right thing and be happy. Tra-la."
There was also one plot-twist-that-could-have-been but wasn't. I think it would have made for a much more satisfying ending. I'll put it in white, so as not to give anything away.
Since Bootstrap Bill Turner was tied to a canon and sent to the bottom of the sea while he was one of the undead, that wouldn't have killed him. He could have gotten himself loose over time, and shown up at the end for the Big Fight to help out his son and his former captain, and defeat the man who put him in the sea. Of course, he probably would have died, but it would have made for a touching reunion of sorts. Instead, he never shows up, but somewhere under the sea he briefly turns into a human again and promptly drowns. Blah.
I will be so happy when my mouth heals. Every time I laugh or smile, it pulls my stitches, which hurts. Given that those actions can be involuntary, but generally desirable...yeah, fun. Tonight I was around some very funny people. I took a pain pill a couple of hours ago and it is still throbbing.
Last night, I realized that for my entire life, I have sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with the lyrics "root, root, root for the home team..." Last night I realized that "home team" is merely a place holder, and should be substituted for the name of teh home team.
This matches the time time in 7th grade when I *finally* realized that the Milwaukee Brewer mit logo was an M and a B. Duh.
Today while on my break by the Yahara, I disturbed a rather large spider, which prompty retreated to the far side of a rock. I sat down on my usual rock, and then looked to my right, where I saw another big-ass spider a couple feet away, on another rock. Both spiders were brown, and a little larger than an Eisenhower dollar, with a body about the size of the end of my pinky. The second spider had seen better days, as the 1st and 3rd legs of its right side were missing. I didn't bother the spider and it stayed in its place.
I went back for my afternoon break, taking my place on a farther set of rocks for teh afternoon sun. Out of curiosity, I looked over to the other rocks, and saw not one, not two, but three big ass spiders. The 6-legger and two companions. I watched them for awhile, and the 6-legger crawled out of view. One of the others jumped about two inches into the air, after a low-flying wasp. That was unnerving. Finally, I noticed on more spider. It was smaller than the others--about a half dollar--and therefore blended into the granite with more camoflage. From now on, I am going to examine where I sit on my breaks very carefully. I do not want to sit on a spider. Miss Muffet says no. (Though it was fun to watch them. I do like spiders, just don't want to surprise and distrub one.)
Someone at work suggested that is was a wolf spider. That may be true, but the spiders I saw looked a bit different than the pictures I've seen. I've also read that wolf spiders tend to be solitary, nocturnal, and hunt in places with clear site lines. Four spiders together in broad daylight, on the banks of a river, among boulders and tall vegetation...not quite. But who knows.
Here's a site (Australian) to help you ID your oogie-woogie spiders. Watch out, they wiggle!
Tonight I went to see the Madison Mallards play the Mankato Moondogs in the last regular home game of the season, in the Duck Pond at Warner Park. It was one of the best games I have ever attended.
It was Fan Appreciation Night, so there were free giveaways all night long. I had a free coupon for my admission, and I got a free beer immediately upon entry. There were also fun little games during each change of field.
I was part of a record crowd of 7, 491. The place was standing room only, but that was ok with me, since I stood up against the fence directly behind home plate. Best view I've ever had. I could tell strikes vs. balls almost every time.
The last few professional baseball games I've seen have been such yawns. Strikes and walks. Very little action, besides the pitcher. Not tonight. There were stolen bases and pop flies, out-of-the-park homers and over the fence fouls...lots of over the fence fouls. Anyone who caught a foul or a homer could, if they wished, exchange the ball for an Oscar Mayer wiener. So, any over-the-fencer was met with the call of "Wiener". One foul ball actually went backwards over home, bounced off the grandstand roof, and slammed down right behind where I was standing. So much for the tall fence and screen.
The mascots were entertaining, the audience participation, songs and rituals were entertaining, and the press box commentary was on the ball.
I am thinking of trying to get to the Mallards first ever home playoff game on Monday night. I know that I am going to get to a lot more games next summer, given that I live mere blocks from the park.
Take me out to the ballgame!
Jesus Castillo, a comic books store employee who sold an adult comic book, from the adult section, to an adult undercover cop, has been found guilt on an obscenity charge...because comics are for kids, you know. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a year probation, and a $4,000 fine, and all appeals to the Texas and US Supreme Courts have been denied.
CBLDF Chief Legal Counsel Burton Joseph said: “One thing is clear, with every defeat of the First Amendment, the censors gain courage to pursue their unconstitutional ends. The Castillo case is among the most appalling cases of injustice ever to come to the attention of CBLDF. Conservative communities are quick to condemn comic book artists and publishers without an understanding that they enjoy the full panoply of First Amendment rights.”
I also note that, as is usually the case in obscenity cases, it was a lowly clerk that was charged, and not the store owners.
I know this is going to get me mocked by those cooler than I, but I cannot deny...I am really rather fond of Coldplay and The Wallflowers.
There, I said it. Now I'm going to listen to "Yellow" and work on my resume.
It's a fun little story, but what bugs me is the file photo they chose to accompany it. If you look closely, you can see that it is an image from a "duck derby", where rubber ducks are raced down a river for charity. However, if you don't look closely, it could give the impression that there really is a tight little armada of rubber ducks floating across the Atlantic. Sure, it's a silly idea, but people believe silly things.
Or maybe I'm over reacting.
I just got back from an oral surgery. What a fun way to spend an afternoon! Local anaesthetic, and unlike most other dentists I've had, this one didn't apply a topical anaesthetic before giving me the shots, so double ouch. Best of all, I could see everything going on reflected in his glasses...not that the sensations in my mouth weren't wierd enough.
So here I sit, mouth numb and swollen, though not so numb that I can't feel the throbbing. Fortunately, I've got a painkiller prescribed with my antibiotics. Thank goodness I stocked up on pudding, yogurt, and smoothie ingredients, for until my stitches heal.
An amusing tidbit from a radio weather forecast, "And some scattered thunderstorms, but not everybody gets one". As though they were party favors or something. All the people who don't get thunderstorms are going to sit in the corner and cry. Cute.
Last night was Pat McCurdy's annual show at the Terrace. Unlike other years, where I'd take the day off, get there around noon and enjoy a day out in the sun, saving a table up in the front, I took it even easier. I meandered down to the Terrace after work, getting there a little after 6 with a falafel sandwich from Mediterranean Cafe. I ate down by the shore and read the Isthmus.No matter what is going on, it is fun to be at the Terrace on a nice day. West Side Andy and Glen Davis where playing for Jazz at Five. Love those guys.
I also wandered around the Union for a bit, and checked out the new exhibitions in the Gallery. Lucky me, I got there during the opening reception, so I scored some brownies, cranberry bars, and punch. Of the two exhibitions, one caught my interest and the other was kinda meh.
The Porter Butts Gallery was divided into two sections. In the front the gallery, dozens of small silver bells were suspended from wired pulled taut across the ceiling. Each wire was attached to a small stand which also held a small speaker. The speakers were projecting recorded thunderstorm sounds, and from time to time, the vibrations of the sounds would set all of the bells jinggling. Cool, if a little noisy at times.
The back of the gallery was seperated by a wall. In this back section, pieces of old wooden furniture--mostly chest of drawers--were hovering at odd angles, usually with only two legs touching the ground. Strong tensionwires were used to suspend and secure the furniture from the walls and ceiling. In each piece, one drawer had been removed and replaced with a facing of milk plexiglass, behind which glowed a flourescent light. I greatly admired the surreal quality of the grouping.
The Class of 1925 Gallery contained the work of a different artist. There was only one piece, standing on a low table at the center of the room. It was a intricately twisting tower of grey Legos, which stood about two feet high. It was certainly a splendid structure, yet as the one and only object in a show, it was underwhelming.
Back out on the Terrace, the sky was approaching dusk, and boats where moving towards the shore. Some where calling it a night, and others where just settling in to listen to the show. I grabbed a seat on a low wall behind the stage. I had a good view of things, albeit from the back. I was surrounded by families with goofily happy small children, who ran around and got themselves dizzy with joyful abandon.
Shortly before the show, an college-aged couple and an older couple (the young man's parents, it was revealed) sat down next to me on the wall. As luck would have it, they were a great bunch to be sitting near, as the parents had never seen Pat McCurdy before, and they totally loved it. I've discovered that most people either love him or hate him the first time they see him, and it is great fun to watch someone discover the joy of Pat for the first time. Listening to them laugh and being surprised at all the right places helped to make the show new again for me. Granted, I hadn't been to a show in about a year, but I've been to so many that I still know a lot of it by heart. At one point, while the son was off on a beer run with his girlfriend, the dad started asking me about the show...if I'd seen it before. When I told him that I had, he asked me if I knew where to get CDs (I pointed him to the merchandise table) and which one's I'd recommend (I said Pat in Person Vol 1 or 2 would be good choices). He hopped right over to the table and bought a couple of CDs.
After a while, my friends found me, and we all enjoyed the show together. We sang, we danced, we made funny gestures, we laughed and we chatted. We all agreed that we do need to make and effort to get back to the shows more. Maybe not every week, like in college, but at least one a month or so. I'd like that.
Followed up the night with a stroll up and down the length of State St., pretty sure that I might well have been the soberest person on the street (besides those who were working, like the police and the cab drivers).
Have I mentioned that I love summer?
Hoohah! I finally went out and got myself a new blender. Smoothie drinks are mine again.