The sun is high and I've been getting out. That's what summer's all about. On July 8th I went to the Blue Room to see Roger's trio play. Roger was playing Thelonius Monk when I walked in. Thelo Mo is my favorite jazz pianist of all time. After Roger, of course. Roger's trio killed.
On Saturday July 10th the girls and I drove up to Excelsior Springs to hear Laura perform outdoors at the Fence Stile Winery. You can take your own snacks, so we packed up a big picnic basket. Lilah wanted to take a can of sardines. YES. I've introduced her to the briny joys of that fishy treat. We like the boneless, skinless kind, swimming in olive oil. Lilah convinced Tim to try the sardines. In return, she has agreed that someday she must taste the OCTOPUS SALAD that Tim buys at City Market. Octopus salad with visible TENTACLES and SUCKERS. I think Tim got the easy end of this deal.
It's always nice to hear Laura sing, but the setting at the winery was especially pleasant. You can get a glass of wine and bring it outside to the patio, and sit and chillax. The winery is only reachable by making a lot of confusing twists and turns way out in the Missouri countryside, to throw off your bearings so that by the time you find it, you have no clear idea of its locale. But this works, because it gives you a pleasing sense that you have left the world behind and can never be found.
On Sunday, July 11th, I went to the Record Bar to see Roger play with the People's Liberation Big Band, my favorite big band of all time. At the bar I ordered a mystery ale. It really was called that --the Magic Hat Mystery Ale #9. It was dark and rich and good.
The People's Liberation Big Band was in rare form, their music a bodacious blast of bohemian bounty. Lessee...they performed a crazified Who medley, performed against a screen showing a clip from the Who's Superbowl appearance...they did a tune in which all the band members strode off the stage and onto the floor of the bar, and as they milled about the audience, they each launched into a monologue about their formative experiences that led them to playing music...they presided over a mock wedding-by-proxy, in which audience members were invited to stand in and be "married" for couples that couldn't get married in their lifetime, namely Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky and Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklias. I stood in for Allen Ginsberg, since he was a close associate of Jack Kerouac. Roger hopped off the band stand and joined me. Jeff Harshbarger had us recite the vows he had constructed out of lyrics from Michael Jackson songs. "Repeat after me, all you pretty, young, things..." he began.
This past Saturday was Annabelle's last day of Girl Scout day camp. We had to drop her off at the bus at 8:00 am, so Roger and I decided to leave from there and go to the City Market. We met up with Laura and Tim, and followed them around the fruit and veggie stalls for a little while, until we got serious about buying produce and then parted ways. We bought tomatoes, corn, zuchinni, cilantro, watermelon, peaches and eggplant. We also bought a high-falutin' pasta that is supposed to taste like lime-cilantro.
There were four characters dressed up in elaborate period clothing prancing around. We weren't sure if they were there to promote the Renaissance Festival that happens in September, or there purely to prance around.
Saturday evening, the girls and I drove up to Weston, Missouri, where Roger was playing for a community theatre production of Winesburg, Ohio. Roger has played for this community theater group the last three summers, when they did Seussical, Guys and Dolls, and High School Musical. All of those are light and frothy, typical musical theater fare. Winesburg, Ohio is much heavier, darker material. Roger and I saw the KC Rep theater do it, and I loved the complex emotions and personalities the KC Rep actors portrayed. I applaud Weston Community Theater for taking on this challenging play and kudos to their players for tackling the material head-on. There were moments where they really shined. I also must say, however, that now more than ever, I truly appreciate professional theater.