Ran Away, Part 2

You know those days where everything just seems to line up and work?  Lots of stuff gets done without any feeling of being rushed or frantic?  Yeah, somehow we managed to have a whole weekend like that.  I’ll do the abbreviated version here.  (Why? Because it’s my website and I totally use it for shameless reminders of where I went when and oh what was that cool restaurant and when did we visit those folks and a whole list of other things.  That’s why.  I totally encourage you to go find a more interesting corner of the internet today if needs be.)

Friday we rolled out of town and headed to Ithaca.  We stopped off at The Brewerie in Erie for dinner.  We’d been meaning to stop in there for ages, but somehow only ever managed to be in town on Sundays, and they’re closed Sundays.  Yummy beer (embarrassingly enough, I liked the watermelon one, which sounds terribly unlikely, but is nonetheless true), good food.  Totally worth driving away from the highway to get to (we seem to go through Erie on the way to other places a lot, and often want to get lunch/dinner and never quite managed to find a place we liked…now we’ve fixed that, so long as we’re not through on Sunday).

Then it was on to The Haunt (I would link but the site plays loud advertisements, it’s easy to find if you need it) for the show.  Jukebox the Ghost was fabulous as always (pretend I inserted a moving and inspiring speech here about how you should go see them, then arrange to go see them, mkay?).  That let out late (or I’m old…I totally wouldn’t discount the old possibility), so it was off to bed.

The next day we figured we’d hit a few of our favorite purveyors of adult beverages.  We’ve been coming here since we were first um…old enough to drink.  Our first stop was Bellwether.  They do amazing and have a resident loaner kitten.  We stocked up on provisions, and headed out again.

On the way to our next stop, boy spotted a sign:

I, I had totally missed the sign (I was busy knitting you see).  A conversation ensued.  It went something like this.

The Boy: You like Schaefer Yarn, don’t you.

Me: Yes, yes indeed I do (this then followed by a brief discourse on their yummy yarns and the projects I’d undertaken therewith).

The Boy: They’re around here, aren’t they?

Me: Yup, hence the alarming size of the bags of yarn that leap into the car when we visit the yarn stores in these parts.

The Boy: Wanna go?

Then came a blur wherein I said I didn’t think it was the sort of place one could just go visit, he mentioned the wee sign, I spluttered incoherent mumblings of joy, and he pointed the car in the right direction.  Which is where we’ll pick up the tale next time.  For while the weekend was streamlined and efficient, it seems my account of it is neither, and I fear I may have rambled on too long.

Ran Away

Friday afternoon we set kittens up to be self sufficient for a day or two, tossed a change of clothes in a bag, flung some things in the car, and ran away.  Our favorite band, Jukebox The Ghost, was playing in Ithaca.  We were unable to resist.  If you find them in a town near you, you shouldn’t resist either.

There’s lots of yarny stuff to report too, but it will have to wait till later in the week.  But don’t worry, it’s coming.  I just have to see if I can get my camera to behave long enough to release the rest of its pictures.

Gentlemen

As part of my ongoing efforts to increase knitting awareness in my community, I took the knitting on a little excursion Sunday evening.  The Boy, the knitting (a new project, I’ll show it to you later this week), and I went to one of our local musical establishments, The Beachland Ballroom.  Sunday evening’s performance was provided by The Two Man Gentlemen Band.  I’d first heard about them on our local NPR station and was immediately smitten.  When we learned they were playing here, we made plans to attend.  It was an absolutely delightful show. Difficult to describe mind you, but delightful.  Think a sort of 50s vibe with extra irony…plus banjo.  I highly recommend checking out their page.  They’ve got some videos to give you a sense of their style.  They’ll be doing a big tour in the fall, so you may have the chance to see them near you.  You won’t be disappointed.

Hot Diggity Dog

There are people out there who say they don’t like classical music.  I would suggest that what at least a few of these people actually dislike sitting still and being quiet while wearing fancy clothes.  Because sometimes that’s what’s involved in going to see such music performed.  Now I’m not presumptuous enough to suggest that this is the case for everyone, but I think there might be at least a few folks for whom the outfits and the environment are the deal breaker rather than the music.

If that’s the case for you (and if you’re in this general area), I have the solution.  It’s called Happy Dog.  It’s a bar, so they’ve got beer.  But they’ve also got hot dogs and french fries or tater tots.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  You sit down at your table, take a sheet of paper off the little notepad waiting for you there, and indicate what you’d like on your hot dog.  Perhaps you’d like brie and bacon-balsamic marmalade?  Or maybe you prefer kim chee and fried onions?  You’ve got dozens of things to pick from, and you can have as many as you’d like.  They’ve even got suggestions in case you find yourself overwhelmed.  Once you’ve figured that out, you flip the paper over, decide if you’d like french fries or tater tots, and then pick what dipping sauces and toppings you’d like for those.  Someone swings by to get your papers and take your drink orders.  Five minutes later, they’re back with your hot dogs and beers.  Repeat until you’re full or until you’ve remembered you’re a grownup and don’t eat things like that.

That’s all well and good, but if you happen to come on the third Tuesday of the month between 8 and 11, you’ll do all this while Classical Revolution Cleveland plays in the background.  They play chamber music in all sorts of unexpected locations.  Last night’s performance featured a selection of Bartók’s lesser known pieces and was simply splendid.  Just as important, the booths at Happy Dog are quite suited to knitting.  I got in several more rows on the cowl (the mitts were finished on Monday), and should finish that up this week with any luck at all.   I have a sneaking suspicion this may become a regular event.  Surely one hot dog a month won’t kill me, right?

Unexpected

Last Thursday, we headed over to Lakewood to see a show by Puscifer.  Some of The Boy’s friends from high school were in town for it.  They had extra tickets and asked if we’d like to come along.  Working on the theory that leaving the house and interacting with people is often more interesting than staying home in my pajamas and interacting with the cats, I went.  It was…bracing.  I actually liked much of the music, but some of the more, um, theatrical aspects of the show didn’t appeal quite as much.  I decided to take a little break in the middle and wandered out to the lobby.

Now it just so happened that it was the sort of show where they pat you down and search your purse before they let you in the door.  That meant it was also the sort of show where there were rather a lot of members of the local constabulary hanging out in the lobby.  I wasn’t planning on doing anything nefarious so I didn’t pay them much attention.  I found a comfy chair and pulled out my knitting.  After a few minutes, one of them strolled over and stood behind me.  I nodded and said good evening.  A moment later, two others sauntered over and joined him.  They all seemed quite interested in what I was doing.  I firmly believe my life is simpler when I’m polite to the police, and I generally do what they ask.  I grew up somewhere with rather different ideas about police behavior and was always encouraged to err on the side of caution.  The habit has stuck, so I was about to ask if it was ok that I was knitting.  There were signs all over the place explaining that no weapons of any kind were allowed in the venue, and I thought perhaps they were concerned about the knitting needles.

Just as I was about to open my mouth (two more gentlemen were converging upon us at this point and I was starting to feel a bit surrounded), one of them asked what I was doing.  Before I could answer, one of the other observers explained that I was knitting.  A bit surprised, I agreed that this was indeed exactly what I was doing, and I further allowed as how I was knitting a sock.  It turns out they didn’t have any security concerns, they were just terribly interested in what I was doing.  We discussed the virtues of knitted socks, the speed of knitting, the cost of yarn, and the mechanics of cables.  They seemed genuinely intrigued.  It was one of the more surreal moments of the evening (which is impressive, given the rest of the show).  I almost felt I should have handed out cards for the local yarn store and invited them to drop by.