What I Learned This Week: #210

Tuesday, September 7 – Saturday, September 12, 2021

The Week in Music – Indie: This week marked my return to attending an official (buy a ticket, go to a music venue) concert. St. Vincent (the musical name of entertainer Annie Clark) played the brand new Icon stage downtown. She sounded great. The staging was fun and three lively, and funky back-up singers added a nice layer to the sound and energy. This was also my first time having to show my vaccine card and masking was not widespread. This was also my first time buying a soda at a show where they would not let me keep the twist-off lid. Good to see that during a pandemic, there is some threat from capped soda that they are keeping me safe from.

The Week in Music – Classic Soul: Later in the week, I went to a free concert at Fountain Square, where Lee Fields and the Expressions delivered a classic soul show that pumped up the small but appreciative crowd. His band (trumpet, sax, bass guitar, lead guitar, and drums) got the show off to a funky start. And then, in classic soul tradition, one of guys stepped up to the mic and started chatting up the audience, “Are you ready to hear the classic soul stylings of Mr. Lee Fields? … I said, Are you ready to hear the classic soul stylings of Mr. Lee Fields… Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the stage, soul sensation, Mr. Lee Fields.” And the music swelled and the dude bounded to the stage where he grabbed on to audience and did not let go. A fantastic show.

The Week in Music – Old Familiar Faces: The opener for Lee Fields was local blues guitarist Erin Coburn. I’d not seen her before, but she really ripped it up playing mostly original blues tunes and some very spot on covers. In the crowd, I hung out with one of my concert guys, Stu. I don’t know his last name and don’t need to as we only see each other at various venues around the city. Of course I haven’t seen him in almost two years, and we talked about being among the older concert goers. At MOTR, the place I see Stu the most, there’s a spot just off to the side of the stage where the older folks tend to gather. It’s affectionately known as “Old Man’s Alley.” Stu is 10 or 15 years older than me and he sees way more shows in a year than I do. At this show, someone asked if the performer was his daughter. He said he gets that a lot.

The Week in the Last Bottle: This whole week felt positive and lucky, and one of the moments I liked a lot was getting the last bottle of $14 wine that I’d taken to a friend’s house to dinner to rave reviews. Not much in the drinking realm makes me happier than plucking an unknown bottle of wine off the shelf and having it be not just good, but better than I expected. And at 14 bucks, I feel like an honorary sommelier. And getting the last one made me feel like I won some kind of wine contest!

Last Call

The Week in Beer and Tourism: Beyond getting deals on alcohol, I just love the social-ness of sitting at a bar and drinking with strangers. This weekend, at two separate bars, I sat next to folks who had some questions about downtown. I am one of the biggest Homers around and will act as the City’s unelected Ambassador at the drop of a hat. The first couple was from out of town and I made sure they took advantage of Nicholson’s Scotch selection, something they had not intended to do. Plus other tips, of course. At Arnold’s, I sat next to a couple who just live across the river and they were very curious for my list of good places to eat dinner. I happily obliged. And bonus, they gave me a place across the river to try. I’ll drink to that.

The Week in Bridal Parties: Late night sightings of bridal parties are always a treat. Those sweet girls who have been drinking and screaming for hours but just want to get one last bar in before closing time are my favorites. On Saturday night, I was walking home in that magic hour just before 2 am when the bars close and I came across a group of young women searching for their final destination. The were semi-lost and very drunk. One of them asked me if I knew where they were. I said I did. “Well, can you get us to Ma-Dough-Nose?” She meant Madonnas. I pointed them in the right direction and told them they were very close. “Oh, Thank God, ” she said. And off they went.

The Week in Here Comes the Colonoscopy: Next week, I’m getting my first colonoscopy, and this week, it’s all I can think about. I used to get aggravated when ALL old people ever talked about was their ailments, procedures, and prescriptions. Now that I’m edging into elderhood, I see that one of the reasons people talk about their body’s aging process it that it is a surprise. It’s a surprise to not be able to pop out of bed, or feel achy, or have any myriad of diagnosis, or have to take any myriad of tests. I actually don’t even want to take a any diagnostic tests, but I’ve scheduled the colonoscopy at the request of a couple of friends who took the test and had issues. I can take the test for them. But I gotta tell you, now that I’m committed, it is the only thing I want to talk about.

Anyway, part of the colonoscopy prep is a change in diet that is fairly radical for me. Two days before the test I can’t eat raw fruits or vegetables, nuts, or seeds, which I eat a lot of, or drink alcohol, which is part of my scene. Plus, I have to drink a sports drink, which is not part of my scene. The day before the test, it’s a near total fast where I can consume liquids and jello, as long as it’s not red. This is key: No Red Food/Drink. At the grocery, buying these supplies, I couldn’t concentrate. First, I couldn’t find sports drinks. Then I found ’em, and not until I got home did I realize one is red. At the jello display, where I haven’t been in years, I was so excited. I really like jell-o and picked my favorite flavors. Again, only at home did I realize only one of the three packs was colonoscopy approved. This is going to be a long week.

Too much red!

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