Sunday, June 22, 2008

Restless soul, enjoy your youth
Like Mohammed, hits the truth
Can't escape from the common rule
If you hate something, don't you do it, too

What a beautiful weekend. The weather was (and still is) absolutely perfect. Dry, sunny, 80 degrees, surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Friday, Stanette went out with her girlfriends and I stayed home. Within minutes of her departure, Omar called and invited me over. He lives 40 yards away. I strolled over, guitar in hand. Omar, Wilma, their gorgeous daughter, Asha, their cute, little puppy, Coco and I enjoyed the warm, late sunshine on their back deck. Calling a puppy cute is an oxymoron, but this puppy is so damned cute that the Cuteness overwhelms you, reduces you to an idiot, makes you babble baby talk at her and randomly declare her Cuteness to the world.

And, if you can believe it, their baby, Asha is even cuter.

O.K., enough with the cuteness.

We talked, played guitar, sang and enjoyed the evening. Thoroughly.

I really love playing guitar with Omar. He's technically proficient and he has a really, really nice voice. He does a ridiculous, acoustic Sweet Child o' Mine, so damn well that I regularly shove the guitar into his hands and command him to play it again and again. And again.

Another song I enjoy doing with him is the Beatles, "Twist and Shout." He sings the lead and I dutifully back him up with the "shake-it-up-baby-now, c'mon'-c'mon-c'mon-baby-now." Stanette, Omar and I actually sang it in three-part harmony last night... but I am getting ahead of myself.

Omar's birthday was yesterday. Summer Solstice, man. My dear, sainted mother's birthday is March 21, the Spring Solstice, man. My beautiful sister, Liz, celebrates her birthday on December 21, the Winter Solstice, man. All I am missing in my life is a kind rainbow brother who has a birthday on the Fall Solstice, man.

I'm taking applications. All of my Solstice friends will go to the Co-op and buy organic grains and artisan bread, recycle and re-use our plastic containers and then maybe burn some tires in my backyard. Man.

Saturday, we ran some errands around town. We went to Tar-jay. We took our friend, Jill and her little boy, Leon, out to lunch and walked her through the new house. (Stanette and I took Leon and Aden to the Magic Show last week.) Jill is probably Stanette's best friend. It was pretty fun. When we got to the music room, Leon got all excited. I lowered the microphone and he sang "You Are My Sunshine" through an amp. It's pretty cool to witness a 4 year old hearing and feeling the power of his own amplified voice.

Then, Jesus, we played the drums. I sat on the stool and he stood in front of me, kinda between my legs. He played the toms and I played the hi-hat, kick drum and snare. It was hilarious. He made his mom and Stanette sing "A-B-C's" into the microphone while he drummed away, with a huge, shit-eating grin on his face.

That was my second time hanging in my new music room. I have a pretty good feeling it is going to be the source of many a smile in the days to come.

We dropped Jill and Leon off at home and then went downtown to buy some hiking boots for me and running shoes for Stanette. The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside in front of the Baxter Hotel and hung out with another friend, Ginny.

Ginny might possibly be the funniest woman I have ever met. She was raised in a tiny town in eastern Montana. She is half-Korean and she teaches at MSU. (Stanette works at MSU as an accountant. Omar is also a professor at MSU. I don't work at MSU. I'm just an asshole.)

Ginny actually makes me "guffaw" every twenty minutes. Total deadpan sense of humor, and completely unafraid to bust my, or anyone's, balls.

We corralled her into our orbit and convinced her to join us at our house for pizza and general revelry. Ginny's dad taught band in high school and she is an accomplished musician. She plays jazz and classical trombone, and recently picked up the guitar. Being the music junky I am, I told her to bring her guitar over, and we also invited Omar.

Turns out, Ginny can fucking sing, too. She and Stanette were dealing some serious mojo. There were points where Omar and I were weaving interlocking points and counterpoints on guitar and the girls were harmonizing... damn. I had a heee-yuge, shit-eating grin on my face that probably rivaled little Leon behind the drum kit.

I know I talk about music a lot here, and it probably seems repetitive, just like my snowboarding stories... but both endeavors are so similarly satisfying in an entirely right-brain way.

(Left brain thinking is logical, sequential, rational, analytical and objective. Right brain thinking is random, intuitive, aesthetic, feeling and creative.)

My life as a lawyer, and with my current job, which shall remain nameless, are totally left-brain exercises. If this, then that. Numbers. Logic paths and decision trees.

To be able to escape from myself in this way scratches an itch like a dog hitting the sweet spot behind his ear and groaning with pleasure. Puck used to do that.

Ginny knew this old 4 Non-Blondes song called, "What's Up?" but she couldn't play it that well on guitar. Oh, but she could sing it. She showed me the chords, and I played a mellow, finger-picking progression, and she just sang the shit out of it.

Here is the original:



We played it differently. Ginny's voice doesn't have that edge that Linda Perry (the singer) has, and we arranged it, dare I say, better. It was awesome. Omar played percussion and the egg-shaker. Stanette backed up Ginny on vocals. I could not stop smiling.

It's a struggle to convey the experience in words. I would liken it to writing about an orgasm. Or painting about war.

We also ran through the usual suspects of the Faces, "Ooh La La," Pearl Jam (duh) "Betterman" and "Elderly Woman." There was some (nay, more than "some." 'twas a lot ... "'twas a lot" should probably be shortened to "twalot" or "twat") Beatles, some Stones, some Neil Young, Jane's Addiction, White Stripes, Gnarls Barkley ("Crazy") and a bunch more.

This morning, after sending her off in a cab last night, we returned Ginny's car to her and enjoyed a lingering Cajun breakfast, replete with fresh beignets, chickory coffee and some killer crawdad gumbo. Again, Ginny cracked us up thoroughly.

This is where I say goodbye, on a wistful Sunday.

Sunday. The day of the Lord. Caught between the weekend and Monday (the moon and New York City), with the bittersweet, autumnal joy of the fin de la semana with the oppressive thunderheads of the work week, hanging dark and stormy over the post-coital weekend bliss.

God Bless You All, and thanks for reading this.

A while back, I shut this site down for a couple months. I did it for various reasons, self-preservation and job security first and foremost... but I shed about half my readers.

For those of you who remain, I offer a heartfelt thanks.

I write this for myself, primarily, as a way to scratch that sweet, right-brain itch behind my ear, but I have to admit, it makes it that much sweeter knowing someone is reading it. So, thanks. Man.

I'm gonna go drink some herbal tea and make a kind veggie burrito.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Om said...

(Stanette works at MSU as an accountant. Omar is also a professor at MSU. I don't work at MSU. I'm just an asshole.)


This is hilarious!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Eve Grey said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Eve Grey said...

I'm sort-of in love with your life.
That evening (and breakfast) sounds so, so perfect.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Tanaya said...

Dare I say that the weather this weekend lent a magical quality to whatever you chose to do? Yours sounds charmed, as it usually does.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Glad you're back, Joe.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Dude, haven't checked since you went offline. Glad to see you're back. Hope all is going well and Queenie and the Doc didn't get flooded out.

8:24 PM  
Blogger k-top said...

THAT was a weekend.
Very nice.
Can't wait to get out and se the new digs. Keep on truckin' brother.

4:30 AM  

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