Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

Oddness and fun

So Friday was weird. After leaving early, my boss called me at home to tell me that he needed to get a link on the front page that day. At 3:00 p.m., somehow, it was urgent that this minor change to the web page be made. Fortunately, I was able to help a contractor we have do the job so I didn't have to go back in to the office for this nonsense.

The bathroom contractor who came by to give a quote was quite good. He came recommended from the local Ramp Project and has done several bathroom conversions for handicapped access. He's probably who we'll go with as Ericka and I were both comfortable with him and he comes highly recommended.

Then there was the window guy. First he gets the address wrong and starts out in the wrong part of town, calling for directions when he's already late. Then he shows up and seems to be in a hurry, like this job doesn't matter so much. He kept mentioning how the neighborhood looked like it had many houses that needed a lot of work and how they should advertise more the area. The overall impression was that, while he was significantly cheaper than previous bids we received, that he (and my extension his company) didn't care about our job. His quote went right in the "no thanks" pile.

Saturday, Ericka and I attended the play. After a bit of initial confusion on how on exactly gets to the Guthrie from our house, and the hassles of parking there, we got settled into the theater. Our seats were on the main floor, just inside the door at the rear of the main floor seating. I was amazed at how close the seating was. Even in the balconies, the seats are not too far from the stage, making for a very intimate setting. For "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," it was a powerful effect. As the young couple gets trapped in the war of wits and words between George and Martha, the audience is forced to watch these sometimes difficult events as well. After seeing the film version, I appreciated the directorial differences. This production played up the humor of the situation, particularly in the first act. And, while the film left you feeling the animosity between George and Martha, this production left me thinking that, while their life was difficult, they did truly love each other. Even the meanest actions seemed to come from a core of affection for the other. Overall, a very interesting day at the theater and a good reminder of why I like it.

The St. Patrick's festivities at First Avenue met my expectations fully. The play ran a bit longer than I thought and, with the delay getting out of the packed parking lot, I missed the opening act. I arrived just moments before the Tim Malloys took the stage. They ran through their set with typical energy and fun, hitting some fan favorites and displaying the stage antics that make them a favorite at local pubs. A brief respite to get a Guinness, and some water and catch up briefly with friends. Then back down to the main floor to see the spectacle of the Minnesota Pipes and Drums and squeeze into space in front of the stage for Boiled in Lead. Atypically, BiL were ready to get going right after the pipes made their exit. So my initial placement a few rows of bodies back and to the left was not ideal. Soon, however, I made my way closer and more to the center. A proffered swallow of my water to the young, cute, drunk woman who'd spent the time during the Tim Malloys' set apologizing for bumping into me during her frantic dancing gained me proclamation of sainthood and a spot on the rail. While friends of mine were adrift in the sea of bodies because they lacked the typical hat to navigate by, several moved by as BiL ran through their set.

BiL themselves were quite wonderful. They only ever play two gigs a year any more. In previous years, this lack of rehearsal has meant some uneven performances on St. Patrick's. They certainly stepped up this year, however, and were tight on most numbers. From the traditional "Step It Out Mary," to their own "Rasputin," and running through nearly every country from Ireland to Turkey and beyond, with a bit of belly dancing thrown in, their set kept people dancing, watching, listening, moving. The highlight of the encore, for me, was Adam breaking his first string since taking stage with the Tim Malloys. (A joy only those that have seen him, and Malloy-mate John, go through multiple strings in single sets, not to mention gigs can understand.) Worn, sweating, beaten, it was time to head out and join the festivities at the MNStf pool party.

Said party was a bit disappointing as I hoped to get more music in. It seems that the various musician friends either left earlier or had, gasp, paying gigs to attend. Can't blame them. And there was plenty to do while there. Saw many friends and even got in some Minicon strategizing.

Got home about 4:00 a.m. and slept well until nearly noon. My neck's a bit stiff from looking up at bands all night, and my ears are ringing because I forgot to bring earplugs. A different weekend, but a fun one.

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