Friday, September 3, 2010

The Real Story, Part 2

Boy, what kind of a lame blogger purporting to "go on and on" writes such a vague and abbreviated post as I did last night? I've got no excuse other than how incredibly busy I was from the second I got up yesterday until I got home from Balliceaux at 1:30 and I was just ready to crash.

The fact is the evening had a little bit of everything I like, including great conversational partners both the expected and unexpected kinds. And then there was the poetry, the art, and the music.

Chop Suey was hosting poets Allison Titus and Julie Doxsee and it was as if the invitation to the reading only went out to a small group of poets and fiction writers...and me. It made for a very informal reading for an unusually low turnout, but I was just pleased, as always, to begin my evening with hearing poetry.

Allison began with some of her newer work, all office poems, each distinguished by their subtitle, including one about the Southside Unemployment office, a place she said she knew well. It was she who wrote the line mentioned in last night's post.

Julie said her book began as 56 letters to objects but turned into something more. She was on city four of a ten-city tour and beginning to experience mid-tour burnout. Favorite line: "Your body is a map of skin, more you than skin." By the way, I stole the title of last night's post from the title of one of her poems (it's a tribute, Julie).

Ghostprint Gallery's opening was in full swing when I arrived for Sterling Clinton Hundley's "Crew." The show is a combination of large scale paintings, in many cases paired with the much smaller black and white studies for those paintings. And while you can't compare apples and oranges, in some ways, I preferred the clean lines and monochromatic pallet of the studies, not that I wouldn't have happily taken home the painting "Winter Road" if it had been offered to me.

Several friends were already at the show, including one wearing the cutest little sweater dress she'd knitted herself. Honestly, it looked very much like something I wore in college, but inevitably in fashion what goes around comes around and she certainly didn't remember the style from last time around.

Waiting to meet my old Floyd Avenue neighbor for drinks, I overheard a couple of guys at the end of the bar discussing ordering White Russians. "You know my Kahlua is at my house," one offered. "And I even have organic milk." The other guy was having none of it and ordered his drink at the bar.

I ordered a glass of Domaine de Camplazens rose only to be told they were sold out of pink. In that case, I told the bartender, I'll have 1800. "Wow, that's quite a swing!" the bartender commented grinning hugely. It's pink or tequila lately, my friend.

The first thing my friend commented on was that I was wearing black, presumably because of my post the other night. I pointed out that I did have on a white skirt with a band of pink and red flowers, but he was right; I had reverted to black on top anyway. He said that thinking back to all those years we were neighbors all he remembered seeing me in was black...and I lived there 13 years. I really do need to work harder on this.

What we didn't realize back in those days was how similar our going-out outlooks were. Like me, he doesn't stay in when he could be out. He's working on a big new project and was soliciting my skewed viewpoint for it.

This naturally led to a dissection of the blogging community (he was a pioneer on the Richmond blogging scene) as well as the age-old issue of poorly written blogs. Our conversation was especially satisfying because, like me, he can discuss music and rave about Richmond endlessly.

At one point, a girl came over to say hello to him and he introduced us, using only my first name, which of course meant nothing to her. He then further qualified it by saying, "She's the I could go on and on blogger," and her face lit up with recognition. I continue to be amazed to discover strangers who know of me because of my blog.

He was funny, insisting on knowing what my first two stops had been and where my last stop would be. Maybe he couldn't wait for the post, probably a good thing since I was too tired to write it up last night.

And finally I ended up at Balliceaux for Fuzzy Baby, a band I had seen months ago at Live at Ipanema and really enjoyed. In fact, Guistino of FB was next to me at the bar and inquired as to why I was there. He was visibly impressed to hear that I was a return fan. It was his comment about his red polyester shirt that I quoted in the previous post. Molly, his musical partner, had on a red jumpsuit that, again, I think I may have worn in 1989.

I remember being impressed last time because they had played wine glasses. Tonight's instrumentation was limited to tuba, drum, clarinet, guitar, tambourine, bass and those beautiful voices, sometimes a Capella. Kicking off by saying, "We like to stimulate our audience," they played two excellent sets.

Once Giustino left my side to perform, he was replaced by one of my favorite local musicians, whom I am seeing everywhere lately. He'd told me his new goal was to "make the scene" more often and he must be succeeding because all of a sudden he's everywhere I am.

But he's a pleasure to talk to and I so enjoy his insightful musical perspective. I once had a boyfriend I could ask all my dumb non-musician questions of and lacking that now, it's nice to have someone who can explain musical things to me.

It's funny, though; he's the musician but he's been asking me for suggestions of can't-miss shows, so I suggested a couple to him last night. I may not always understand all the musical elements but I always know what I like and keep an ear open for what sounds interesting.

How else would I have anything worth posting about before I go to bed? When I can be bothered to go on and on, that is.


  1. Your ability to elaborate with nuance, is as informative as it is entertaining. Sleep is a good thing. Time out is even better. Curiously, I was relieved that your prose was sparse and you called it a night, or an early morning as it were. I enjoy reading your blog. Sparse or profuse, it is a read I revisit. Thank you for sharing. Roads, et al.

  2. Roads, yes, of course.

    I am flattered by your comments on my stylistic variations. You should know that I am honored to be a read you revisit. Please comment early and often.