May 19, 2008 :: Partridge Restaurant, that place named for that other place, USA
Oh my, weekend.
Considering what we usually do on the weekends goes something like: plant something in the yard; sit down/nap; clean a room or two; sit down/nap; play 'the game*' on rhapsody; walk with the dogs; sit down/nap; eat, drink, repeat - this weekend was a veritable whirlwind of activity. I'm tired. Good tired. Damn good tired.
First: Rome. Really, what is the fascination U.S. states have with naming their cities/towns after cities/towns in other countries? Rome, Georgia was hardly settled by Roman soldiers. Athens, probably not so many Greeks (unless you count the beer-bonging, walk-of-shame type). Are they shooting for some kind of prestigious sister-cityship? I think they give those out for free, just for the asking. Anyway, Georgia's got a couple of these european-cum-southen places, but Indiana's so much worse about it. At least they don't mangle "Rome" into, um, I don't know, RO-may or something. My home state boasts a "Milan" (pronounced "MY-lin") and, my personal favorite, a "Valparaiso" pronounced, within the state lines as Val-a-PRAISE-o. That's "VAL-para-IS-o" to the rest of the world. Go Hoosiers.
Anyway, we drove to the fanciful city of Rom-ay this weekend so Blake could enjoy a well-paid family reunion of sorts that featured him playing a nice Young Antiques set (fully censored, of course) in front of parents, cousins, grandparents, and half of Polk County. I never realized how much "objectionable" content his songs contained, until I watched him, hilariously, try to change lyrics like "the best place around for lonely mothers and pussy-hounds" into something more G-rated on the fly. He hadn't thought it through beforehand, apparently, and watching him careen toward a bar or two containing something questionable was like watching a deer get a good first look at an oncoming Hummer.
Next, there was tipsy chess in a smoky cigar bar, sleep-of-the-dead at a friend's house, Huddle House waffles and bacon, drivingdrivingdriving, Costello on Vinyl, dog walking, a vegetarian grill-out (who knew they make a tofu-brat? and that it's really good?), and Liam Finn and Laura Veirs at the EARL. Chronologically, that's: dead-boring, comatosely-peaceful, gut-wrenching, butt-numbing, butt-shaking, butt-toning, ethically tasty, jump-up-and-down fantastic, and back to dead-boring. Chess and Laura Veirs in concert--two things that made me consider taking a nice nap in the middle of a public space this weekend. I guess I'm not as much of a geekilectual hipster as I thought. I don't know how to play chess, and that girl that sings with the Decemberists conks out all brain function for me. Better hang up my chucks and my ennui.
Next weekend, that other city: Athens. A place where, on my first trip, one of the people I was traveling with was thrown out of our hotel, and on my second, Blake threw up on me. As compared to the cricket-tinged calm of Rome, this trip should be much more interesting.
*If I haven't mentioned it before, "the game" is the most fantastic use of the Rhapsody music service ever invented. You get two or more people together, come up with a category ("song that most represented you at age 8," "bad duets," "1987," and "incoherent punk," have been past selections), and have each player choose two songs that fit the category. After everyone has gotten their turn, from there, the topic may or may not evolve. The goal (at least how we play it) is to show off your obscure music geekitude by choosing songs that have a less-than-obvious connection to the one before it. A simple sequence might be: Wilco to Son Volt to the Jayhawks to Band of Horses (who I think sound a lot like the Jayhawks at times). That one's kind of lame. Greater points go to putting together rockers who were sleeping together, or having six songs in a row that were recorded at the same, obscure, basement studio. Blake's awesome at this.
People fall into two camps over this game. Kind of like cottage cheese. It either sounds like the BEST way EVER to spend a Saturday night, or like something you'd only choose over the chance to have someone pull your fingernails out with pliers. If you're in the first - come over and play! The more heads the better!