Sunday, July 26, 2009

Folks and fests

Today we went with my brother in law Robb to the Lowell Folk Festival. I haven't been for a few years, but it's always a fun take if the weather is agreeable. There is not only interesting music, but people of all stripes, from the geezer in daisy dukes to the guy in the leather kilt to the gorgeous young girls staffing the Laotian booths. We spotted a lot of aging hippies as well as black sock and sandal wearing nerds, and I figure someone probably thought we were South Shore oddballs too.

I'm not sure whether the music, the food, or the beer made me feel best. I think it was a combo of all of those things. I'm not a big fan of bluegrass, but Sierra Hull and Highway 111 were fantastic...she's a kid who whales away on the mandolin, and had a 17 year old fiddler who was as good as anyone I've heard. We were inspired by the Brotherhood Singers, who reminded me how much I love "People Get Ready" acapella, and then entertained by DL Menard's cajun music. I didn't know about him but apparently he's a legend. It was a blast to watch people dancing cajun-style, gliding around in a rag tag waltz in a big circle. We wandered around, collecting yummy food like pad thai, baklava, and pierogies, visited a gallery and bought a crazy dog painting, and finally took in the Glen David Andrews band, also from New Orleans, but more on the funky side. They got everyone up and dancing. Until the thunder began and the skies opened, that is. We ducked for cover but quick! Surprisingly, we hit no more rain on the way home.

Given it's a free festival, the big turnout shouldn't have been a surprise, but it seemed to me, anyway, that there were more people than usual there. With the wide variety of folks at the folk fest (and very little of what I'd consider folk music), it made me wonder what they all listen to when they're home. I always want to ask people what's on their iPods or in their home stereo or CD players.

Good times. Listening to music outside is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. We'll see what my next show is like (Rancid on Wednesday).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hot Saturday

Interesting day. Attended an old friend's father's wake last night and saw lots of other old friends and their families. It's interesting to see all of the people who have grown out of a core group of friends, especially now that our kids are adults.

Today was finally hot and sunny after much rain and cold weather. After a lot of deliberation, rode my bike to the gym where I was scheduled to teach a spin class this morning. I had already spent a bit of time compiling just the right music mix for the class.....not knowing what age group I'd be teaching....and hadn't had enough water, especially after downing a few glasses of vino last night. Decided to hop on my bike and ride to class...but left late so I had to power myself there! 40 minutes later I arrived, a bit winded but not exhausted. After an hour spin class, hopped back on my bikey bike and rode back home again. Man, I was hungry when I got home! It was a very pleasant ride, other than the Boston traffic, potholes, and debris.

After a quick shower headed back out to the bike shop to pick up a couple of tubes and also found myself a nice pair of Tifosi sunglasses for riding. Then to Stoppie to pick up food. Used one of those scanners for the very first time. I felt like Grandma in the store because I had no clue. I even had trouble with the bagging in the cart. And produce is a bear. Having to come up with labels for everything (with a problematic printer at that) was a challenge. As I picked up my Eight O'Clock coffee I had memories of going to the supermarket with my mother when I was little. There was no "shopping buddy" or scanner, no scanners at all, but I do remember her buying that same bag of coffee. Back then, the coffee grinder was at the checkout, and the clerk would pour the beans into the hopper. I'd get a boost up to watch them go down and smell the delicious aroma. What a thrill! Actually, the real thrill was getting a 5 cent bottle of Coke out of the vending machine. Cold and delicious.

If my mother were alive she would shake her head at what grocery shopping has become.

Back to the house, unloaded, made brownies and a rice salad, laundry, and headed back out for a much needed pedicure. Too bad the nail tech sawed the skin off my feet. It'll grow.

Tonight there's a neighborhood pot luck down the beach. I hope there's a jello salad.

Tomorrow is another day...we may go to the Lowell Folk fest, weather permitting. And of course there is a USA Men's National Soccer Team Gold Cup final, which I need to at least record if not watch. I have become a soccer slacker, I'm sorry to say. USA USA USA.