So it used to be sort-of-safe to plant your garden around Memorial Day and now it’s closer to Mother’s Day so we waited for it to warm up a bit and then pounced. We planted tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, red peppers, jalapeños, zucchini, parsley, oregano and basil in our neighbor’s garden. He has all the sun and a big fence to keep the deer out. Plus, he’s an expert on everything.
I was so happy to find it raining this morning. It was so dark we had to turn the lights on to read the paper. We were planning to meet the neighbors down at the pool to take down a dead tree and the rain would put that off. I really grew to like rainy days when I was working construction. The days off were so cozy.
Ah, but the sun was out by eleven and we headed down there with our work gloves on. Rick came down with his video camera and Phil climbed a ladder and tied a rope around the tree about fifteen feet up and then Jared pulled the rope taught with his tractor in the direction that we wanted the tree to fall. We cut the wedge with a chainsaw in a perpendicular orientation to the direction of the rope and on the same side of the tree as the direction we want it to fall in. The wedge is cut approximately a third of the way through. On the other side of the tree we cut straight in, again perpendicular to the direction we want it to fall but six inches higher up than the wedge was. The tree is only held up by a wedge in the center and a gentle tug on the rope encouraged it to fall into the open wedge and land right where we wanted it.
Margaret Explosion tonight. Here’s a song from last Wednesday. Pete LaBonne play piano.
Margaret Explosion – Ballad of John Gilmore
Margaret Explosion “Ballad of John Gilmore” from April 2011.
My father was telling me he saw Charlie Rose’s interview with “W” and “Charlie couldn’t get him to admit to anything” but he did get him going on painting. “He’s one of us!” my dad said.
George told Charlie, “Right now I’m looking at your tie and thinking about how I would mix that color. So much for Bush’s black and white worldview.
We met my mom and about half of my immediate family down at Vic & Irv’s for Mother’s Day. My mom likes their milkshakes and their onion rings are the best but the rest of the food is a little rough. My dad ordered fried bologna with onions and cheese.
I had some ginger tea to settle my stomach. A few slivers of ginger root in the bottom of the cup is the way to go but we didn’t have any ginger so I used a Yogi tea bag. My fortune read, “Happiness comes when you overcome the most difficult obstacle.” I thought it was the journey that mattered.
We bought some duck eggs at the Public Market yesterday but I didn’t have the guts to to try one this morning. Instead I had a large chicken egg that we bought at Wegmans, one with a stamp on it that says “Use by June 9.” The organic duck eggs from Shannon Brook Farms are in a reused box that still reads “Best If Used By April 22.” The duck eggs are supposed to be creamier and that contain more protein.
Maureen bought me a kite for my birthday. She teaches fourth graders and called with her kids on the line. When I answered they sang Happy Birthday to me. Now that’s a gift! She brought the kite to painting class and I groaned when she gave it me. It was nice and everything but I don’t like the whole idea. There’s so much junk in the world I’m neurotic about the whole gift-giving thing. That said, what a cool gift.
We took it down to the marsh on Hoffman Road. Most of the trees down there have died from too much water so there is a good patch of open sky. We held it out and it took off. There may have been too much wind today because it crashed a few times. I remember adding cloth knots to kites’ tails back when we were kids in an effort to keep the thing oriented right and that may have helped. With today’s gusts we were never able to get the whole roll of string unwound before the kite would nosedive to the ground. We used to get those old paper kites up to the end of a roll of string, tie the kite to a tree and ride down to Bowmans to buy more string, ride back and put that thing up out of sight.
Wednesday was a funny night. People expected a big band version of Margaret Explosion but Pete was the only special guest able to make the gig. His piano playing was great and worth the free admission. We packed up quickly and drove out to the Lovin’ Cup in Henrietta to catch the the tail end of Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby’s set. Eric seemed out of sorts and off his between song, free-association game. He kept looking over to the noisy crowd gathered around the bar. Twice he asked if they could turn the tv off. “You don’t go out to watch tv.” The edge added to the excitement for me and musically they sounded better than ever. I love how they trade songs and support one anothers’. I love it when Eric sings high harmonies to Amy’s voice and I loved it when they smiled at each other and kissed in the encore. This is way post punk stuff.
Peggi talked to Amy after the show and Amy told her they felt like they had to do some different material because they’ve played here so often. How many times has it been, six or seven? We’ve been to them all. Eric even did his “Men In Sandals” fashion send up even though Tom Kohn, the one that brought him here, was sitting at the merchandise table in open toe footwear. Their three song encore included a beautiful version of Tom Petty’s “Walls Fall Down.” We learned that before we got the club the bar had a beer tasting and some those idiots stuck around for the show. Eric told them to “shut the fuck up” and someone who had come to the show chimed in only to get thrown out by the club owner.
Watch their brilliant video and see them next time at a better venue.
Pete LaBonne emailed that he would be in town this week which means he’ll be behind the grand piano at the Little Theater Café when Margaret Explosion performs tonight. Jack Schaefer sat in on bass clarinet and addition guitar last week and he said he would probably stop by this week as well and then Peggi talked to Rick McRae and invited him to play trombone with us. None of these parties know the others will be there so the whole thing will be really wong, the future or past participle of wing(ing it).
This song was recorded a few years ago. Bob was out of town so there is no guitar. Pete LaBonne played piano and Jack Schaefer played bass clarinet.
Margaret Explosion – NY Tango
Margaret Explosion “NY Tango” from April 2011.
The Jack-in-the-Pulpits are in full bloom in the woods now but you’ll have peak under the hood to see the red spadix (Jack) preaching away. Although it looks like a male plant they are unisexual.
By design our Wednesday painting class is always an adventure. The plan is only a starting point, the road is full of surprises and the goal stays just out of reach. Painting on the other days of the week can seem uneventful by comparison.
We missed two art shows this weekend. The post card invite to the Jim and Gail Thomas opening at Valley Manor got shoved under a pile of mail and Saturday’s Oxford Gallery group show was on our calendar but you have to look at that. I really wanted to see Janet Williams “Jesus Cleansing the Temple” painting.
We smelled the dead groundhog before we saw it laying upside down in the creek covered in flies and we stayed away from it yesterday by crossing the creek at different point. Today we figured it would be all cleaned up, nature is pretty efficient that way, but instead we found turkey vultures in the trees surrounding what was left of the carcass.
I was wearing my Treehugger shirt and when we got up to the park and someone said, “Oh I see you’re a treehugger” and I wanted to say “Whatever gave you that idea?” but I said, “Someone gave me this shirt.” He said, “I’m a treehugger too.”
We caught Bobby Henrie & The Goners’s at Abilene over the weekend and I was thinking how good they sounded, a three piece with all the essentials in just the right place. Bobby sang two George Jones songs, we danced and we headed home and then we heard the next band, a thirteen piece with Eastman students called “Bitchin’ Kitchen” killed. But they couldn’t have been as good as The Goners.
Let’s see. Where should we go to watch the Kentucky Derby this year? The race only lasts a minute or so and it’s so nice out.
We could do Silk O’Laughlin’s. You can sit outdoors or stand in the parking lot if the tables are full and look out over the river right where it meets the lake. They have betting pools and this years race hardly has any favorites so it’s wide open anyway. They serve Guinness but then any pub worth their salt does that. Peggi and I went to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville on our first date. I took this picture there. We didn’t have seats in the stands so we sat on a blanket and we could barely see the race but it was the year Secretariat won. I just did the math!