Sunday, November 20

some days are better than others

Yesterday was nearly a perfect day. As nearly as I’ve had in a while, anyway.

Today was pretty great too, full of late lingerings in bed and hikes in the snow, but there was a mishap on the other side of the bridge that backed up traffic for two hours, a retaining wall, a brand new one, collapsed at the sight of a new overpass. That meant that I couldn’t go to aikido this evening, which sucks. Of course, it also meant that I had time to come here, to a favorite haunt, get a pot of green tea, and write.

So see? That silver lining shit works sometimes.

Anyway, the imperfect part of yesterday included no time to write and the fact that it started with a shift at the casino. It was a short shift. They have this thing called EO (early out) that allows them to save payroll expenditures in a sort of cooperative serendipity venture with staff; if they don’t need you, you get to go home early. I really, really wanted to get out early, so I showed up well before my shift and went on the list.

My shift was 45 minutes long. But even 45 minutes in hell is a damned long time.

And then I was free and loving it. I had to stop by the local super-drug store to pick up some prints I’d promised Mom for her memory book. There was one of my brother Travis and his wife, Kate, from their wedding in April. Yeah, that one was kind of late. And one of my bio-Mom so Mom - adopto-Mom - can have a reminder of what she looks like. And there was a print of Gena, my new bestest friend, from when I brought her over for dinner last Monday.

Of course, Mom doesn’t remember last Monday. She doesn’t remember meeting Gena. She simply doesn’t put days together at all any more. I make dinner twice a week now, trying to shorten the time between visits to help with continuity, but it isn’t making a difference. Most times, somewhere in between visits, she calls to tell me how much she misses me and to lament how long it’s been since she saw me.

The pictures and the memory book work were good though. When she goes through the progressively longer compilation of pictures, diary entries, and brief histories, it always triggers good stuff. In it, she finds a sense of herself, of the time she’s lost. A light goes on in her eyes, however briefly, and the warmth of the remembering lingers long after the book’s been put away and she’s lost the specific remembrances.

And then it was homeward for a quick stop before meeting Gena for a night-o-music. I mean a wow night of music. We had tickets to see Matthew Good – cue video:

It was amazing, even if the crowd wasn’t as fun as at the Sam Roberts concert last month. Good also writes a blog that I love, an aware, political, edgy, honest expression of opinion that is refreshing in a musician, especially one as talented as Good. It was a powerful, sonically stunning experience.

We rolled out of the concert at around 11 and walked a few blocks to a place called The Habitat here in Kelowna, one of the local live and indie music spots. There we saw Larry and his Flask. LAHF is hard to describe. Without doubt, they are ridiculously talented, switching instruments at will, nailing harmonies, rocking out of control. Maybe hillbilly punk? I dunno - you watch and decide for yourself:

Whatever they want to call it, it was amazing. The video doesn’t do their energy justice. I’ve never seen anyone play a stand-up bass as if it were a telecaster in the hands of a punk god until last night. Mandolin, guitar, the big bass, banjo, trumpet, trombone, bassoon, all played a punk pace with punk energy, studio-quality chops, and giant hearts.

All that live music made my heart expand, like in that scene in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - the cartoon, not the crappy live action version - where his heart grows. I like to think mine wasn't shriveled like his to start, but still, it grew. It was swollen with life and my head was full of stars by the time we headed home.The streetlights were brighter, the air purer. In the presence of that much creativity and talent, it's hard to worry, you know?

So yeah, a near perfect day. I like to think that, if I hadn’t had to work, I could have written early before Mom’s. Then it would have been perfect. But I don’t mean to brag…

How was your Saturday?