Now With Bonus Gentleman

Saturday evening found The Boy and I venturing valiantly forth, clad in real live grown up clothes, headed out into the world.  The Two Man Gentlemen Band was in town.  Earlier this year, we’d headed all the way to Detroit to catch their show, so we weren’t going to miss out when they were just downtown.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I spied something of interest.  Down at the end of a long stretch of buildings (conveniently located next to what I suspect may be A Certain Sort Of Establishment), were the remnants of a bridge.  One of my bridges (‘my bridge’ meaning, in this case, a bridge built by the company I wrote my master’s thesis about…you already knew I was beset by strange enthusiasms, I might as well confess this one, too).  Of course, this discovery mandated a bit of an exploratory detour.

There was clambering through weeds (discussion as to the nature of these weeds and the chances they were poison ivy ensued).

bridge 2

And there was lying down on railroad tracks to stare up into the guts of the thing (this is why it’s best if I don’t wear grown up clothes too often).

bridge

I predict there will be a future visit when next I have some knitting to photograph.  Perhaps that purple hat and mitts that are still patiently awaiting their photo shoot…

Then, after a brief pause to brush off any lingering bridge detritus, we wandered back over to the concert venue.  We enjoyed the musical stylings of the Two Man Gentlemen Band (now with bonus guest gentleman).  I think we even managed to pass as the sort of normal, respectable adults who hadn’t just clambered over derelict bits of crumbling urban infrastructure.

2 man band

Timeline

Sunday evening-

  • 8:30 The show we planned to attend officially began.
  • 8:39 I (hair damp from a recent shower and firmly ensconced in my pajamas) recalled that we were planning to attend said show.
  • 8:40-8:41 I expressed my frustration and exasperation at this lack of good planning and forethought in a heartfelt and vigorous sort of way while dashing downstairs to The Boy’s office to inform him of the situation.
  • 8:41-8:42 The Boy joined in this expression of dismay with equal fervor, and, after careful consideration, we decided to see if we could set the land speed record for rolling out of the house.
  • 8:42-8:50 Various preparations and ablutions ensued, the details of which are certainly not of interest to anyone.
  • 8:50 We blasted out of the house, tires squealing and plumes of smoke billowing in our wake.
  • 9:10 We slipped in the door and claimed the last two seats at the bar just in time to catch the end of the opening act.

The dash was to see the Dirt Daubers, and it was well worth it (just go ahead and listen to Get Out of My Way now and try not to have it in your head all day, I dare you).  There may well already be plans in the works to see them again in the very near future.  Really though, that makes three shows and two trips and one preorder shipping extravaganza in the space of ten days, and I could really use a nap.  A nap, and possibly a bit of knitting.  A nap, a bit of knitting, and a large pitcher of iced tea.  If one of you could sort that out I’d appreciate it.

DSC_0711

DSC_0740

Two at a Time

We’ve established that I have rather eclectic taste in music (and eclectic may be the polite word…it may actually be that I have rather dreadful taste in music, but I’m ok with that).  And we’ve established that The Boy and I have a pronounced propensity to dart off for the evening for a concert at the slightest provocation.  So it should have come as no surprise when we found ourselves settled in the car Friday afternoon headed to Detroit.

For you see, The Two Man Gentlemen Band happened to be playing at Cliff Bell’s, and it seemed a shame not to go.

twomangentlemanbandThey’re on tour now (with a shiny new album), and they put on a great show.  If they find their way to a town near you (or not so near…), I highly recommend stopping by.  Now if you’ll excuse me, The Boy and I may just be dashing off to another show here shortly.

Signs

If this recent trip had a theme, it would have to be embracing the unexpected.  The trip itself came up on short notice, and it took a wee bit of finagling to make it practical for me to come along.  But we sorted it out.  As a result, we went to the water, obtained lovely yarn, launched a new embroidery obsession, visited dear friends, discovered new drinks, and had two of the best meals ever (seriously, Gracie’s and T. W. Food, go if you have the chance).  That’s an awful lot of delightful things to manage on a short-notice trip.  But as a final sign that it’s sometimes a good idea to just go with it, the universe had one more bit of serendipity to throw our way.

It turned out one of our very favorite bands was playing a mere two and a half hours away.  Now, two and a half hours may not sound like a short distance to go for a concert.  Perhaps if I tell you that we’ve cheerfully driven to Buffalo, Chicago, Hershey, and Ottawa (yes, yes the one in Canada) to see them in the past, it will put the issue in better perspective.  Two and a half hours with more or less zero advance notice seemed totally reasonable.

The band is the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.  Yes they really are that fantastic.  Yes, I’ll wait quietly while you go listen to a few of their new songs (those are youtube links, which means sounds, don’t be surprised).  We had, as always, an amazing time (and somehow managed obscenely good seats).  There was lots of this.

cpdAnd this.

blowAnd this.

strumAnd this.

bangAll together, a lovely way to wrap up the week.

Dash

The plan went something like this.  Dash off to Chicago after work on Friday, hang out during the day on Saturday, see a concert that night, zip back home Sunday in time for a nice leisurely evening.  This is a perfectly viable plan in the town you’re going to and the town you’re coming from are close to each other.  Cleveland and Chicago…aren’t.  Especially when you change that to ‘eastern suburb of Cleveland’ and ‘western suburb of Chicago.’  I think we spent more time in the car than we did, awake, in the city.  Those plans to fill a few idle hours between stops with a bit of languorous yarn/book store browsing?  Yeah not so much.

But, we did have a lovely little jaunt, even if much of it was spent in the car.  We had breakfast with friends and lunch down town.  I didn’t manage to hit up any yarn stores (this is where I chant ‘I have plenty of yarn’ under my breath), but the local used book store (the one I popped into for ten minutes while The Boy did a little compare and contrast at the beverage store next door) did happen to have two charming stitch dictionaries which petitioned to come home with me.  Their petition was accepted.

The concert was lovely.  Somehow (it could have been careful shimmying and good karma) we managed to get a spot right up front.  As in, hands on the railing, very first row up front, despite arriving only moments before the concert was set to start.  I, of course, had assumed we’d be in the back and so hadn’t brought the big (read, heavy) camera.  We’ll have to trust the little one for proof of attendance.

The band was The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.  And if your first thought is ‘ah, how very 1997,’ you’ve been missing the good stuff. Do take a look at what they’re up to these days, I think it’s really quite fabulous (video link, and the song will be in your head all day).

We’re back home now, and I’m in the grip of a new obsession and might just possibly be swatching like a crazy person for a new project. Details to come!

Napping

One of my many goals in this life is to skip over being old and go right into being venerable.  I like the sound of venerable much better than old.  It has all the respect and wisdom bits, but sounds like it might avoid the creaky knees and questionable eyebrows that sometimes come with old.  In the service of this goal, I’m prone to occasional bouts of age-inappropriate action.  I figure if I’m going to outrun old and chase down venerable, I have to be unpredictable.

The most recent of these bouts occurred this past Thursday when I somehow found myself heading down to Columbus (about a two and a half hour drive) to attend a concert that started at 10.  Just to be clear, its not that I was playing hooky for the day to go to a concert that started at 10 in the morning.  No, that’s 10 in the evening.  There’s no way to go to a concert at 10, then drive home, and then get the requisite amount of sleep, and still have a fully productive Friday.  At least not for me.  My options are ‘sleep all day, get nothing done’ or ‘subsist on 4 hours of sleep, shamble zombie-like through the day.’

But the concert was good.  It was Savior Adore, they were disgustingly chipper for the hour, and everyone else at the concert seemed to be about 14 years old.  With any luck, this takes care of my quota for staying up late for the month, and I can go back to my regularly scheduled napping.

Oh, and one final reminder, the early preorder discount on KCC2 expires at the end of the day today.  The price on both versions of the book will go up tomorrow.  The whole schedule is spelled out over here, and of course you can order the book over here.

Sing me a Song

Sunday evening found us in a most unusual state.  Instead of being tucked up safely at home in our pajamas, we actually got up, got dressed and left the house.  This is especially impressive as The Boy was just getting over a nasty cold and I seemed to have accidentally encouraged some sort of alien parasite to take up residence on my tonsils and stab me each time I did anything so injudicious as breathe.  But, Jukebox The Ghost was playing right in our very own town.  We regularly leave the state to hear them play (and we drove down to Columbus the very day I got back from the retreat…despite the rather epic lack of sleep), so there was no way we were missing a show in our backyard.

It was a zoo (the show sold out), and I didn’t feel like wrestling with the crowd to fight my way to a spot where I could get a picture of the whole stage, so you’ll have to make do with a picture of blondie here on the guitar.  I promise the rest of them were there too.  You really should go give their stuff a listen, it’s irritatingly good.

I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programing shortly as I have actual finished things to show you and thus can prove I’ve not been felled by the tonsil parasite.

To The Gentleman To My Left At The Concert

Dear Sir,

You sat to my left at the concert in Toronto on the 14th.  I noticed you seemed to be a bit perplexed by me and my actions during the concert.  Indeed, perplexed may not be a strong enough word.  You appeared downright disturbed.  To help allay your concerns, I thought I’d answer some of the questions that seemed to occur to you.  So, without further ado:

1) Knitting.

2) Yes, really.

3) A sock.

4) Again, yes, really.

5) Because I like to.  Because they are awesome. Because it’s my job. Because it helps me respond with more grace to the antics of others.

6) Indeed, I do think it’s an appropriate thing to do at a concert.

7) For a variety of reasons.  Namely, because it is quiet.  The sound of yarn against yarn or the sound of needle on needle is far quieter than, just for example, the braying of your ringing phone and your loud conversations.  Because it is discrete.  My knitting does not emit light, unlike (again, just for example) your phone as you send text message after text message.  Because it can be done while remaining within the confines of my allotted seat.  My knitting can be accomplished while keeping both my elbows and my knees to myself, unlike (once again, just for example) your phone conversation, which seemed to demand a truly impressive amount of gesticulation (hint, your conversational partner can not see you).

So sir, please do not be alarmed.  And don’t worry, knitting is easy to learn.  If you’ll just put your cell phone away, I’ll be happy to show you how.  In no time at all, you too can be behaving appropriately in public.

Sincerely,

The Irritated Knitter to Your Right

You Know You’re A Knitter When…

We seem to go to two different sorts of shows.  There’s the buy your ticket ahead of time, get an assigned seat, wear grownup clothes, sit quietly, watch attentively, applaud politely sort.  Like the Tuvan throat singing concert.  Very grown up.  Then there’s the the buy your ticket at the door, stand around for an hour drinking beer before the show, wear your jeans, hop up and down and sing along sort.  Both are totally valid and plenty of fun.  It is generally easier to knit at the first sort (you are sitting down and the chances that someone will spill beer on your knitting are far lower), but I’ve been known to try at the second sort too.  But on Friday when we went to see Enter the Haggis (yes again, they play here a lot, and it’s more fun than sitting home watching tv), I didn’t take any knitting with me.  But that doesn’t mean it was a knitting free evening.

It turned out the girl standing next to me was wearing a cardigan with a lovely stitch pattern on the sleeve.  I totally snuck (spell check tells me this should be ‘sneaked’ not ‘snuck’ but I can’t bring myself to believe it’s true) a picture of the sleeve.  I don’t think she noticed.  It didn’t look to be a hand-knit sweater, so I didn’t want to freak her out by explaining why I was taking a picture of her shoulder, so it seemed best not to be noticed.  And while it’s not a good picture, it is enough to file away in my little pile of knitting ideas for future use.

Of course I took the odd picture of the show too, but getting decent pictures of energetic folks flailing enthusiastically in eccentric lighting is surprisingly challenging.  You’ll have to make do with this less-than-impressive attempt and take my word for it that it was a fun show.

I Checked

It’s not every sock that can say it was knit on during a Tuvan throat singing concert.  Really it may be a fairly small percentage of socks that can add that to their resumes.  But the gray ones can.  And it was darn nifty.  Though I must say, if you’re also a child of the 80s, you may well think Dark Crystal as soon as they start singing.  It was an ever so slightly trippy flashback to my youth and childhood.

After the show we went to Sweetie Fry, the new ice cream and french fry shop that opened just down the street from us.  And while not many socks get to spend time in throat singing concerts, I have a suspicion that a fair number of future socks are likely to spend some time at Sweetie Fry. Just call it a hunch.