November 20th, 2006

out with friends, crown

Barenaked at the Xcel again

Almost a year ago, I started an lj post by saying, "timprov and I went to the Barenaked Ladies concert at the Xcel Center last night. It was touch-and-go as to whether he was going to feel up to going, but he managed, and I'm glad he did. Here's the thing about the Ladies: they make me happy."

And it was true again last night: Timprov had a really wretched day Saturday and was not exactly skipping around singing yesterday, but we made it up to Sakura and the Xcel anyway, and had a really good time. And I love the Ladies, and I love the Xcel (Palace Of Hockey!), and I really love the Ladies in the Xcel. Making fun of Norm Coleman in fairly subtle ways, even.

The differences between this year and last year were pretty much all to the good: last year's was a holiday concert (and no, I don't mean a Christmas concert -- BNL has some Hanukkah stuff I really like, and their opening band was all Hanukkah songs last year), and I'm almost never going to like a holiday concert as well as a non-holiday concert. It was a lot warmer this year, and I was feeling better -- on the walk over from Sakura, I said to timprov, "I remember this walk being much, much longer." But I was perpetually tired at this time last year (due to being sick, not due to trying to do everything under the sun simultaneously as is my wont otherwise -- it's a different kind of tired, I promise).

The opening band was worse than last year, and the people behind us were...the sort of people I thought had stopped going to Ladies shows, frankly. They were the, "there's a band playing, let's get tickets and get sticky-drunk and sing along with the choruses to their hits and talk through the rest!" concert-goers. I thought the Ladies were past that stage in their career and not yet to the "Maaaaaan -- I loved these guys when I was in college, maaaaaan" stage. But it was still not enough to ruin or even significantly dent my concert-going experience.

They played songs from all the albums, I think, including the one not yet released. I was very happy with what they chose to play from the new album, and I'm enough of a BNL fan that it's hard to make me unhappy with an assortment of past tunes. They're pretty good at varying tempo, mood, etc., and I didn't go into it with any one song I "had" to hear.

Kevin Hearn (keyboards, accordion, some guitar, all-around useful) has kept the Bolshevik Beard from last year. We approve. Jim Creeggan (bass) has gained immensely in confidence and performance ability (I don't mean musical ability -- he's always been good at that) in just the year since we saw him last. Since we saw him at the Shoreline in '01 -- wow. And the other guys were relaxingly and lovably themselves, and it makes me happy to go hear them play. I expect that the effect would wear off if we went more than once or twice a year, but we don't, and anyway maybe I'm wrong and it wouldn't wear off at all.

These guys are such geeks. I love to watch our own kind being rock stars. That part is so good even aside from the music, which is of course far and away the main point.
peeking out

Those Days

It has been one of Those Days. The piano tuner was an hour late. timprov's (utterly necessary) prescription wasn't available at the pharmacy. People who were scheduled to do things Saturday and yesterday popped up suddenly to do them today. I left my library book at the bank and had to go back for it. When the piano tuner did get here, she couldn't tune my piano at all because it is broken. I have cramps. There is a button off my green coat, which is a beast to mend because of the thickness of the wool. My soft olive green sweater has gone holey in the back, and I don't know if my mom will be able to fix it. The dog has been upset all day because there are monkeys on the roof next door, and while she's not barking at them all the time, she's pretty sure there are not supposed to be monkeys on the roof.

But! In the midst of all this, I was writing an e-mail, and the piano tuner finished tuning timprov's piano and played it a bit. And it sounded like a piano again, not a jangly collection of strings. And something in my neck unkinked: ahhh. There. Piano. Yes. And I arranged with the piano tuner to repair my piano in early December, and she showed me a jar my great-grandmother used to keep in the piano to keep it from going too dry in the winters.

And the chicken is thawing and the wine is chilling, and timprov's meds will be ready for pickup soon, and really, all in all, it could be a lot worse. Even if the rest of the day doesn't go as planned, it will be all right.


There is a very large map of Medieval or possibly Renaissance Iceland hanging over my desk now. It is framed in cherry, and it makes me very happy. And it is no longer propped against the second short story bookcase behind me, and "hang Iceland map" no longer graces my to-do list.

I am trying not to think of the fact that I now need to re-hang three other things that used to be in this general area, and that the to-do list now includes that behavior. Because this is progress; this is improvement. It's just that lately it feels like progress and improvement are kind of cascading. I am threatened by a tidal wave of progress. I got all brave and made my phone calls awhile ago (I hate phone calls), and there were four separate service peoples in my home today because of it. Which is good, sort of: the cable guy is done, and the notary is done...but the piano tuner will return, twice, and the handybeing will return at least once, because they're not at all done.

But this is progress. Progress, progress, progress. And this particular segment of progress is very shiny.