Friday, May 1, 2015

Bring on May Flowers

That sound you heard was April not letting the screen door hit her in the ass as she moved on.

Is it me or did April just blow by in the blink of an eye? Part of it was that I was down and out sick for the first two days, vomiting at home and at MVC like a champ. Maybe part of it is attributable to the week I spent playing tourist in Memphis and Oxford.

Even so, man, this month left me in the dust.

In fact, tonight's get-together was originally planned for April 1 but I'd had to cancel on my two less extroverted girlfriends lest I retch on them. It took us a month to reschedule and it worked out even better because the one with the real job is off tomorrow, meaning we could do more than just eat.

After much back and forth, we decided that after dinner we'd see a movie, something the three of us have never done. The pop culture queen suggested "Mall Cop" but I refused steered her to "Woman in Gold" because you can never go wrong with Helen Mirren. Plus it was playing at 9:10, giving us plenty of time for eating and catching up first.

After deferring to me for a restaurant choice (and dropping hints about margaritas and guacamole), we met at Lalo's Cocina, a place new to both of them although I'd already been three times. Even so, I was surprised to walk in to find a jazz combo playing on a Thursday evening.

I'm always happy to hear live music.

The friend who'd requested margs and guac was soon watching as table-side guacamole was made to her specifications (more cilantro than I might have chosen) while she sipped a margarita not overly sweet. The braided one ordered a combo plate heavy on cheese and vegetables ("I know you like meat, Karen") and I was happy with black bean nachos, not on the menu, but  an accommodation by the kitchen.

Gardening was a major topic because the reason my friend is off work tomorrow is to go to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden plant sale. The other one is thinking of going back to school to get another degree, this one in horticulture. To their delight, I told them about a terrarium workshop that's going on this Saturday.

I taught myself gardening years ago by reading books for inspiration and trial and error. In the past, I had large perennial borders but am perfectly happy now with a very small flower garden out front, an array of clay containers leading to my front door and window boxes inside.

Just enough but not so much upkeep that it cuts into my play time. They'll learn.

One particularly interesting topic of conversation was the study released today that says that people stop listening to new music around age 33. "Everyone I know is obviously an exception to this wacky study," the marg drinker posited.

She's right. In fact, such a goofy study made me realize how fortunate I am that few of my friends are the kind of people who have given up on new music. Some may have limited exposure to it, maybe only NPR (not that there's anything wrong with that), but when they hear something fresh they like, they seek it out.

That said, we do have a new coffee shop nearby called Classic Rock Coffee for those who need some Skynyrd with their Joe, so based on science, I guess that means the customers will all be 34+.

Jobs came up because one friend is interviewing in hopes of leaving a poorly-managed department and the other is under-employed, looking for more hours and job satisfaction that doesn't involve a computer.

I shared that the subject of an article I wrote recently thanked me, adding, "You have a cool job." Cool is in the eye of the beholder, but I like what I do a lot. What most people don't realize is that I do it for subsistence pay and I'm fine with that.

But most people want a higher standard of living, so they wind up in jobs that give them no satisfaction, navigating office politics and putting up with co-worker "frenemies." I'd rather be poor.

Of course we talked about Balliceaux closing for the summer. It's a topic on every music-lover and musician's lips since it was announced. Everyone agrees that the back room and booker Chris are too big an asset to the music scene to accept that it might go away forever.

The musician in our midst talked about what great energy the space has, something I've witnessed countless times at shows there. As a fan, all I can say is I've seen some amazing acts play that back room - Hey Marseilles, Kings Go Forth, Lake Street Dive - that would have skipped Richmond if not for Chris and Balliceaux.

Needless to say, we were getting pretty worked up about all this when suddenly we noticed the time and had to hustle to make the movie. Art history, here we come.

In line to buy our tickets, we hit a glitch: there was no 9:10 screening. What the...?

Two of us had checked the theater's website and both seen "Woman in Gold" listed at 9:10 Thursday, yet the ticket sellers were informing us that it just wasn't so.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, since when can't you believe everything you read on the Internet?

For all I know, they announced it in April and I was too scattered to notice.


  1. I'm way over 33 and always looking for new music. I guess that means I'm an outlier, but I consider that a good thing. Thanks for posting about your music experiences. I have to look up more than half the bands you mention, but that's a good thing, too.

  2. Outliers of the world, unite!