Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching Up and So Forth

Let's see...where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by that vacation? Oh yes, I was here in Seattle, working the 2 to 10:30 pm shift at the local independent bookstore, taking care of my son half the week, and generally "living the life of Riley." As far as this blog goes, I have a little catching up to do. It is probably best that I start with the most recent events in my life, since I'm more likely to remember those more clearly.

Tonight my beloved and I attended a concert by Boz Scaggs. Who, you may ask, is Boz Scaggs? Well, if you're curious, you can jump into your "Wayback Machine" by clicking on this Wikipedia link. This was the first time I have seen a show at a local casino. That seems to be the venue of choice for certain musical artists just past their prime, with a few top 40 hits under their expanding belt to attract the grey haired crowd. We arrived at the Snoqualmie Casino just at show time, and secured parking in the multi-storied garage.

We made our way circuitously through the intentionally confusing casino to find the seasonal stage in the parking lot just to the side of the front entrance. As we walked to our seats a bald eagle chose that moment to glide majestically over the crowd as if on cue. The formerly endangered bird merited a round of applause for his appearance. Shortly thereafter Boz Scaggs, and his band took the stage. It was a good performance in a chilly overcast June evening in the Pacific Northwest.

The 66-year-old (!) Scaggs played an hour long set, performing songs such as Allen Toussaint's "Hercules" and "Sick and Tired (of foolin' around with you)," written by "Fats" Domino and Dave Bartholomew. After a short break, and before the applause ended, the elder musicians (elder except for Miss Monet, the booty-licious backup singer) bounded back onto the stage for an encore of nearly a half hour, running through a repertoire of hits, including "Lido Shuffle," "Breakdown Dead Ahead," and "Lowdown." Overall a very good show, even though I would have preferred a more intimate venue (such as the Triple Door downtown), so that Boz would have felt comfortable playing some of his more quiet numbers, including some of his recent interpretations from the Great American Songbook.

* * *

Besides attending an oldies concert, I have been getting back into the grind at the bookstore. We're getting ready for our big bi-annual "40% off all used books" sale, which means buying lots of used books, and pulling old titles off the shelves to be marked down. There have been two author events, plus Magic Monday in the week since I have been back. Today I worked a day shift, starting at nine this morning, but by noon I thought it would be wiser to have lunch with my loved ones and then catch a nap before leaving for tonight's concert. I was right.

The vacation itself was quite nice. It's true that I was visiting family instead of lounging poolside in Negril, but even considering that it was a nice respite among family and friends. I overindulged by attending at least three parties, and eating all those east coast things I don't get out here (or at least not in their original version): Del's frozen lemonade, Sax steak sandwiches, and a chocolate frappé and clam roll from Bliss Brothers Dairy. Never mind the various birthday cakes, and our last night feast of baked stuffed lobster. These particular crustaceous delicacies, were special ordered ahead of time for our party, and were stuffed with lobster and scallops and shrimp.

While driving around the neighborhoods where I grew up, I was struck by how little things had changed. In some ways it seemed that things had stalled because of the economy, but it also seemed that some old places were still in the hands of families, who were not ready to sell off their properties to the highest bidder. I enjoyed seeing the old cemeteries, and stone walls. I told my partner as we drove by one particular graveyard, that in the fourth grade our teacher took the class to there to do gravestone rubbings. I guess that was part of growing up in New England.

I was also privy to a raucous thunderstorm during our stay, and during the evening, while I relaxed on the front porch of friends, I saw lightning bugs, and more stars overhead than I've seen in quite a while. Visiting is taxing, especially when it's family, but I did well until about mid Wednesday. Then I hit my wall. We were flying out Friday, so I spent Thursday going to the U-district near Brown University and RISD. That's where I went during my adolescence to find good books, and to see art film double bills at the Avon Theatre. The College Hill Bookstore has been closed for some years now, and it seemed that there was more swag and less books at the nearby University Bookstore. I was specifically looking for a copy of Nicholas Carr's The Shallows, but their copies hadn't arrived yet. I settled for a copy of the first Richard Stark novel, and a book about a Brown University student, who spent a year at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

Well, that's about all the catching up I have time for right now. I have one more day of work, and then the weekend arrives. I'm hoping that there will be some sunshine and reading time during my upcoming weekend. There's always hope.
* * *

And as if this post isn't long enough, here is a video of Boz Scaggs doing his hit "Breakdown Dead Ahead."

No comments: