What’s been keeping me off the streets of Blogistan lately? Way too many things—but some occasional fun, too.
1.) Last night, I coerced a friend (gosh, when was the last time I had a date?!) into attending a Richard Shindell concert at World Cafe Live, a cool Philly venue. Shindell is one of my favorite folk singers, and I’ve seen him in concert three or four times. He did several of my favorite songs, including “Transit,” a song about, well, transcendence that begins with crazy rush-hour traffic and ends with a nun leading a prison choir; “The Ballad of Mary Magdalen,” telling the (a?) love story of Jesus and Mary Magdalen (and written long before The Da Vinci Code, mind you); and “Are You Happy Now?“, a song addressed to an ex-lover.
He didn’t do two of my favorites, though—”Abuelita,” a song about Argentina’s dirty war; or “The Next Best Western,” which is probably my all-time favorite Richard Shindell song. “Next Best Western” has a great hook, and it evokes images of one of my favorite things, a road trip. Here’s a snippet:
Whoever watches over all these truckers
Show a little mercy for a weary sinner
And deliver me – Lord, deliver me
Deliver me to the next Best Western
Random note to Richard: I love you, and that’s why I’m telling you this. Um, maybe it’s time for you to put away the muscle t-shirts. It’s probably not a good look for men your age, or mine. Oh, and maybe you could comb you hair before a concert, too. Hee.
2.) Two nights ago, my Ulysses reading group met again. At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m going to (finally!) make it through the book, but I’m not at all sure I’m ever going to fall in love with it. In fact, I don’t feel passionately about the book one way or the other. At Wednesday night’s session, I was one of only two, um, participants who didn’t say a word. Now, admittedly, I’m too shy for my own good, but I don’t think that’s the real reason I was so quiet. I’m just not inspired (yet?).
3.) Last week, I attended a beer-tasting session put together by Tria Cafe, which specializes in the “fermentation trio of wine, cheese, and beer.” Yum. The session was devoted to black beers, a favorite of mine because I like beers with a lot of flavor. After sampling seven different beers, I was feeling the effects a little bit—so much so that I actually fell asleep on the train going home and missed my stop. Embarrassingly enough, I had to get off and catch a train going the other way. (Note to Mom: No, I am not a lush.)
I had so much fun at the beer-tasting session that I’ve already signed up for another, one focused on Philly beers. And that’s not just because there were all of these beefy, macho, handsome men at the beer-tasting. Hey, I swear. (Note to Mom: It’s not like I came home with any phone numbers. Hmph. And darn it.)
4.) The night before Halloween, I went to “Terror Behind the Walls,” a sort of massive haunted house held at Eastern State Penitentiary (the world’s first penitentiary). Smartly, I let most of my friends go ahead of me, and I kept one behind me, so I could see every ghoul jumping out at us before I could actually be startled. From that safe vantage point, everything just seemed funny. I laughed all the way through the prison.