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              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Whatever you do, Take care of your shoes."

I did something totally spontaneous the other day. Spontaneity has been slowly disappearing from my life. I'll attribute that to a growing sense of responsibility as I continue to work on bettering myself.

Although I am not the type to rigidly schedule myself, down to the point of when I am doing laundry or what time I have allowed myself for an afternoon nap, my life has begun to have some structure, a routine if you will. Coming from a past where spontaneity would find me making a drunken decision to take some Orange Sunshine at 1 AM on a Friday morning, I welcome a little boredom.

LSD is bad ... mmmkay?

I do consider myself a "free spirit" or a "Beta" as my friend Freddy would call it. I do demonstrate Alpha characteristics occasionally, albeit a pretty lazy Alpha, if there is such a thing. Let's put it this way, I would probably do much better in life if I had a personal assistant, then again, who wouldn't? A "Gal Friday" or a "Miss Moneypenny" would fit the job description nicely.

I like the way things are going in my life these days. I have turned another corner in my road to recovery, once again rediscovering how easy it is to allow the insanity to rule your life. And that can happen without even picking up a drug. Lack of insanity lends itself to serenity, or at least an opportunity to spend some time in a boat on a smooth lake surface void of high winds or choppy waters.

The spontaneity, to which I refer was a change in plans on Saturday night. My daughter and I were supposed to go to Six Flags New England to take advantage of our newly purchased season passes. She was with her mom all day, and I had to work an extra hour to prep for some heavy duty catering on Sunday. This meant that by the time we arrived at Six Flags, we would have missed the opportunity to go to Hurricane Harbor, which would be closing about 45 minutes after our arrival.

"So, Daddy, I was thinking, I don't want ot go to Six Flags it is too hot, can I go swimming at Aunt Kathy's (her Mom's Aunt)"

"Sure, Honey. What do want to do tonight, after that?"

"I don't know ..."

"Wanna go to Fall River to see the Drunk Stuntmen it is an all ages show at 8 o'clock."

"REALLY!?" Sure, I thought why not, It is only a 90 minute drive. I had driven further in the past to see a band. Once I decided to make that trip, I felt different. It was not going to be just another mundane evening. I think I actually got goosebumps thinking about the possibilities of what the music might bring especially in a venue where my kid was welcome.

So, we went to Aunt Kathy's to hit the pool only to find a disappointing situation. The pool was pretty nasty littered with pollen and at least four dead tree frogs. My daughter kind of freaked out. She made an attempt to clean the pool up a bit, but in the end I think we both agreed that it would be best that she not go swimming in the festering murkiness. I firmly believe that if she did go swimming she would have gotten ill. I already had images going through my head spinning similar scenario's to when in the movie The Wall, the young Roger Waters type character found a rat and made a nest for it with his sweater, only to find the rat deceased a few days later. He disposed of the rat, put on his sweater and later found himself with a searing fever as Comfortably Numb accentuated the video back drop.

We bid Aunt Kathy, who was pissed that we thought the pool was gross, farewell and headed East. What seemed like minutes later, we were getting off at the Atwells Ave. exit in my old stomping grounds Providence, RI. We went down Federal Hill now rife with swanky upscale restaurants and bars with names such as Artini's. Federal Hill still had the character that it always had when I was going to school in Providence 20 years ago, it just wasn't as down and gritty as it used to be. It didn't seem like such an adventuresome and dangerous place as it used to be. It just doesn't seem like the Patriarca' s live there anymore.

If down and dirty were what I was looking for: it really wasn't, I just wanted to continue on my nostalgia trip, I sure found it as we went down the hill into Olneyville. It is a good thing I was with my daughter, because Olneyville is a haven for junkies, and hustlers and tricks. But that is not why we were there. Olneyville may have its share of n'er do wells, but it also has one of the most fantastic culinary treats ever devised. The New York System Hot Weiner.

These culinary delights are without a doubt the worst (wurst?) thing you can possibly put into your body. The weiners themselves probably have maybe 50% "meat" in them. I don't want to know what kind of fillers makes up the rest of the soft, spongy morsel. It could be sawdust, maybe even tofu, but most definitely it was some "class of beast" which has been put through a mechanical separator. The guy who is making them also adds a little flavor to the bun as he lines eight of these up on his sweaty arm before adding the rendered suet mystery meat with their own special seasonings, mustard and onions. Then with a flair and a flick of the wrist they are passed through a cloud of falling celery salt. I practiced some restraint and only ate 4 of them. My daughter loved them. I kind of felt bad exposing Rayna to such an aberration in proper nutrition, but the side trip was worth it and she enjoyed them, arm sweat and all. They are so damn tasty. It was definitely worth the side trip, even if it was in a section of town my disease would prefer, I remained.

After that, it was off to Fall River a short 25 minutes away. We crossed the bridge from Swansea and saw Battleship Cove. We took a wrong turn and had to pass the Lizzie Borden B&B, but we easily found Anwan St.

I won't spend too much time on the music, It was fantastic, the Narrows is a great place to see a show and its is highly recommended.

During the set, Stuntman Steve explained to the audience why he and Bow Bow were wearing flip flops. Okay, I didn't notice until then. Steve I could see wearing flip flops, even though he usually sports boots either construction or cowboy. But Bow Bow? He is a big imposing looking guy who looks like you would expect a bass player in a band called Drunk Stuntmen to look. The flip flops were way out of character for him.

It turns out they slept at a hippie's house the night before and some how managed to get back on the road without their shoes. Well, that is life on the road, I guess. At least they can rest assured that since they did leave their shoes at Chez Hippie, they don't have to worry about said hippie wearing them.

That story reminded me of a Phish show I went to at Hampshire College in the early 90s. The band was playing in the gym. Whoever produced the show printed tickets in the form of business cards, which weren't numbered. So, of course, day of the show there are about 500 more ticketed patrons in the show than the number of tickets had sold.

Part of the deal, since the show was in the new gym was that only stocking feet were allowed on the newly varnished basketball court. As you walked in, all you saw were piles and piles of random birkenstocks. How would they ever figure out that mess at the end of the show?

Further proving the statement from the Phish song Cavern, "Whatever you do, take care of your shoes."

Until we meet again, and hopefully it will be sooner than last time around, you will find me ...

Running Hard out of Muskrat Flats.

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