Wednesday, October 1, 2008

GREAT weekend...

A flurry of activity, as usual, but not the usual gotta-get-it-done kinda stuff.

Friday afternoon, my dad drove into town. After a semi-business trip (just enough to make the trip deductible) she decided to head back to Kansas from Jersey via Michigan. Makes perfect sense (?!?!??). Anyway, she pulled unto town Friday about my lunch break. We headed out to National Coney Island for a bite and catching up, since I was working both jobs that day.

After working the Blockbuster evening shift, I went home via AJ's Coffee Shop in Ferndale to catch an old high school friend Amy (Smith) Petty perform for a few minutes. This gal is an absolutely AMAZING talent! Her live version of her song "Broken Record" is positively jaw-dropping. She has a fantastic wit and raport with her audience and a voice so beautiful it'll make you weep. Her style is basicaly modern acoustic folk, a la Indigo Girls, if one were to draw similarities. I could only stay for a couple songs, but I am in awe of her abilities and was pleased to see so many faces from my high school days that I hadn't come across in years. I only wish I had the time to stay and chat with some of them.

Unfortunately, I had a BIIIG day ahead on Saturday. Sonya & Leigh were heading out at the crack of dawn for a breakfast with their garden club and to set up the end-of-the-season festival at the community garden. I was expected to be in Flint at 11:30am for a gig at the Applewood Fall Festival with my quartet, and needed to make some progress on the house before I left, as we had a family birthday party for Courtney on Sunday.

So the morning was a whirlwind of getting the kids up, dressed and fed, living room tidied, cat box cleaned (yeech), meeting with my dad, dropping the kids, and then heading to Flint with my dad in her car. All of this, plus the never-ending construction that ALWAYS seems to be at its worst on Saturday afternoon, meant we got there JUST in time for the gig, but no warm up.

The gig was wonderful, as always. Wonderful weather, beautiful scenery, friendly people, appreciative audiences, and some GREAT cider. We sounded great with our substitute bass, Jack Day. Again, he's no Dave Conrad, but he's by far the best second we could hope for. I have a few pictures (courtesy of Lou's finace, Linda, and my dad) on my Flickr page. I'll have a couple video clips up on my YouTube page soon.

From there, we all headed to the local Red Robin for lunch and had a great time talking barbershop, the financial market, retirement (a foreign word to me), and stuff. It was a great end to a great afternoon. Then my dad drove me home and I headed to Blockbuster for another shift.

The party on Sunday went off without much of a hitch. We just had a simple barbecue in the backyard, and a fire in the fire bowl to let the kids roast their own veggie dogs. All of my close family came: my mom, dad, sister, grandfather, and Courtney's Auntie Leigh. It's a once-every-several-year occurrance to have my mom and dad in the same locale, so it was nice to have the family back together, if briefly. Courtney loved seeing her Nana, Grandma Paula, and Grandpa O, and, cof course, her gifts. She got a Disney Princess Sing-a-long toy from Grandma Paula, a sparkley rainbow rump rope from Grandpa O, and a My Little Pony from Nana. She also got a Bratz doll, but the wife and I aren't keen on that line of toys, so we may convince her to exchange it for something else - maybe another Barbie (not that she needs 10th Barbie, but better that than a Bratz doll).
I was able to meet with my dad for coffee before she left on Monday morning. It was such a joy to see her. Throughout my life, my dad has been my most consistent, honest, and non-judgemental supporter. We can have coversations is few words and know that we both understand. This was a great weekend, and my dad was a huge part of that.
(for those of you confused about my pronoun usage in this entry, my dad is transgendered. Let the curious questions begin...)

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