So I’ve been procrastinating catching up the state of things, and I’m currently stuck over the at our colocation centre waiting for a RAID rebuild that should have been finished by now, so I may as well drop a note here on some notable events of the last couple of weeks.
After two days of helping tarkrai move out of his apartment and one night of doing absolutely nothing to recover from it, we drove down into Atlanta to see Richard Shindell at the Red Light Cafe on Amsterdam Ave. I really love the Red Light. It’s s small, intimate venue, and in the past I’ve seen Cheryl Wheeler, Tanya Savory, Unplugged Planet, Three Weird Sisters, Screen Door, and a troupe of belly dancers perform there. We arrived before the doors were open and took a place in the line that was already forming. Eventually, they let us in, just in time to race to the restrooms before we burst. Having secured good seats, I went and ordered some nosh and cider and we settled in to wait for the show to begin.
Opening up was a Maryland duo called Judd and Maggie. I had never heard of them before, but I very quickly appreciated their turn of lyrics, and Maggie’s sweet voice. Once I heard the song ‘One Year Past Twenty’, I knew that I wanted a copy of their CD. (Having listened to the CD, I like them even better. The club’s sound guy didn’t do as good a job as he could have on blending their voices and instruments in the mix.) There’s three or four outstanding songs on the CD, all of which were in the show.
After a short break, Richard Shindell took the stage and started out with a cracking cover of Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy”, followed by a mix of some recent stuff that I was less familiar with, some of which was on his most recent album which I need to get, and some of which was from the album he is in the process of recording. My favourite of the songs I didn’t know was “Cancion Sencilla”, wherein the narrator expresses his desire to write a love song for his sweetheart in her native Spanish, but is having trouble with the grammar:
Ya problemas se presentan
Tus pronombres reflexivos
Tus acuerdos, tus acentos
Ni hablar de tu subjuntivo
Tal misterio fascinante
Tan oculto, impenetrable
Por ahora no hace falta
Mi amor es tan cierto
The set eventually ran to material I was more familiar with. When asking for requests, the first thing that was shouted out was “Cold Missouri Waters”, and he wryly muttered “Why do they always want to hear the ones I didn’t write?” before launching into what may have been his best performance of the night.
The set closed with the always thought-provoking “Transit”, and was then followed by a brief encore (an old traditional ditty called “I Got Mine”), and the lights came up and the performers did the meet-and-greet-and-sign-autographs thing. I paused to compliment the show and shake his hand on the way out, and we made our way home.
This was the first time I’d seen Shindell live, though I’ve been a huge fan ever since telynor introduced me to his music. What struck me most (and most unexpectedly) was how funny he is in concert. Through the show’s stage patter, he exhibited a very dry sense of humour, especially in telling tales like the story behind “Are You Happy Now”, and bantering with the soundboard operator. “Um, in my monitor, can I get a little more……talent? I really need some talent up on the stage.” I was left with the impression that he’s the kind of person I’d really like to just hang out with and chat. Great fun all around.
The Saturday after the Shindell concert was kitanzi‘s birthday, and we had cooked up a surprise for her. I told her earlier in the week that we were invited down to joyeuse13 and abovenyquist‘s house for brunch, to celebrate her birthday. Since we go out to eat with them all the time, this wasn’t unusual and she happily agreed. I managed to completely avoid suspicion, except when she saw me putting my backpack in the car, which I casually waved off as “just putting it in the car so it’ll be there” and refused to discuss it.
We got down to joyeuse13 and abovenyquist‘s house at about 10am, met their friends William and Heather, and then piled into cars to head out for brunch. And we got on the interstate going south. And south. And still further south. We were nearly to the exit when kitanzi finally figured out we were taking her to the Georgia Renaissance Faire for her birthday, courtesy of joyeuse13 and abovenyquist (I was merely a conspiritor). She was very excited by the idea, remarking that her only complaint was that if she’d known where we were going, she’d have worn more comfortable shoes. I grinned over my shoulder, “What do you think is in the backpack?”, earning me a tremendous number of Good Husband points that I can later redeem for valuable prizes, no doubt.
We stopped briefly at a Waffle House for some quick fuel, receiving some of the most indifferent service I’ve ever encountered. Now, you don’t go to Waffle House for the fine dining experience, and the place was busy, I admit, but there were only six tables and 1 counter in the place, and seven people on the staff, and we still had a devil of a time getting any actual attention from the waitresses. I was very cross about it, but I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because minutes later we were in the parking lot of the Faire and going about the usual parking lot activities of changing clothes and sorting out who was going to be carrying the water bottles.
The Faire was….the Faire. Everything that’s good about it was good, and everything that’s “eh’ about it was “eh”, but I’ve found that it’s always better in company, and our company was good. We took our time wandering the shops and taking in shows as we found them. Somehow, we managed to miss every single musical performer at the Faire, but took in Hack and Slash, The Zucchini Brothers, The Washing Well Wenches, and about half of The Ded Bob Sho. We ate in the tea room, which was lovely, as was our waitress, a winsome young girl named Jet who had never heard of the Paul McCartney song she shares a name with. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel older…she was quite excited to learn their was such a song and was quite eager to go and find it, so some good was done there, I suppose.
Of course, there was shopping. kitanzi I bought a nice pair of earrings and a lovely Alphonse Mucha print which now hangs in our computer room (right). I got myself a t-shirt suitable for wearing to upcoming Interfilk auctions, and joyeuse13 and abovenyquist bought themselves a variety of nice things, including a leather garment, some jewelry, and a Sky Chair for their magnificent new deck.
We eventually left the Faire at closing time, weary but with our thirst for adventure well quenched. We returned up to the Brookhaven area near their house, ate an absolutely lovely Chinese dinner, and briefly visited back with them before heading home and falling into bed.
kitanzi rated the entire experience a success, so I call that a good birthday. Special thanks to joyeuse13 and abovenyquist for the idea, the company, and being really great friends that we’re honoured to have in our lives.
And of course, since I never made a post on the day, being trapped in the 16th century with no Internet access: Happy birthday, sweetheart. You are the best friend, partner, lover, and wife any man could hope for in a hundred lifetimes.