What I Learned This Week: #239

Monday, May 9 – Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Week in Hair: This week’s hair fiasco is 100% my own doing. My regular guy moved to the suburbs and, even though he’s great, I don’t want to drive to get a haircut. I’ve been flailing with mediocre cuts for over a year, including a couple so-called stylists who did not, in my humble opinion, know how to properly cut my bangs.

Overdue for a cut this week, I impetuously scheduled a style/wash/haircut at the salon closest to my office. Their website was down, but I know that for a simple cut, I would be out around $75, including tip. That is what I expected, but that is not what happened. In other words, the $100 haircut I’m sporting, while properly cut, is kind of killing me. $100! Wow! I look good in my grief, though!

The Week in Music – Flashbacks: My buddy scored last minute tickets to the New Kids on the Block Mixtape tour, featuring En Vogue, Salt n’ Peppa, and Rick Astley. NKOTB were hot during a time when I’d pretty much given up on pop music. I know their biggest hits, but I’m not like the hoards of women at the show who sang along to every song. Also, I’m not much of a “legacy band” concert goers. I’m not against seeing folks who aren’t recording new stuff, I’m just not terribly interested.

This show, though, was a blast. Each group came out twice for a couple songs each, with NKOTB starting and ending the show. They all looked liked they were having fun, and they sounded great. And, because I tend to only go and see new artists not old artists, this was the first concert in a long while where the audience was my age.

The Week in Music – Classical: I skewed a little younger in the age demographics on Saturday at the Symphony where, even though I’m in my 50’s, I’m just a young thing. LOL! Rachmaninoff’s Third was the showstopper for the last show of my 2021-2022 subscription. I got to sit in between two of my favorite seat mates Ms. Lilian, and the lady from Chicago (whose name I don’t know). Both of them used to come with their husbands, and now they come alone. They are very sweet and eager to chat. They are my symphony bonus.

The Week in Music – Healing: For someone who doesn’t go to legacy act shows, I got my fill in this week by ending my musical week seeing The Who at TQL stadium. The Who last performed in Cincinnati in 1979 when 11 kids were trampled to death as the crowd tried to press into the arena. Three of kids were from my high school, and alumni have been working for years to honor the memory of our classmates with a memorial and scholarship fund. The group has also been working to bring The Who back to town.

At the concert, which the band donated their pay to the memorial fund, the tribute to the 11 kids was very moving. As Love Reign o’er Me played, pictures of each one flashed on the screen, you could hear pockets of people around the stadium cheering for their person. In 1979, grief counselors were not a thing. I think for a lot of people, the show brought a lot of healing.

And the show? Meh. I’m glad they used local musicians, including several from my old high school. The sound was good for us, but Roger Daltry said they were getting a delay echo from a part of the stadium TQL didn’t put on sale, a part of the stadium made up of benches, not seats. (The Who’s show was the first concert in the 2 year old stadium.) Townsend can still play. Daltry doesn’t have the stamina, but he was trying. To assist him, they played a lot of their instrumental stuff, and less hits than I would have liked. I’m glad they played, one of my youthful anthems, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” but that song is different when 80 year olds sing it.

The Week in Greek-ish: As I was planning my meals for the week, I decided I wanted something Greek-ish, that is, I was going to make something American that would have Greek seasoning, feta, artichokes, and black olives. And I needed it to be fast for my busy weekend. I couldn’t find a specific recipe that met my mood and timeline, so I made one up. I started by seasoning bone-in chicken thighs, with Greek seasoning, and tossing them (skin removed) into the instant Pot with chicken/spinach sausage from the market. I threw in a sliced red pepper and red onion, and marinated artichokes from a jar. I took that reserved marinade and built the flavor adding salt, red wine vinegar, more Greek seasoning, and poured that over everything. Cooked on high pressure for 15 minutes. Served with crumpled feta and sliced cucumbers. My big fat Greek-ish American dinner!

The Week in East Coast: Last year I noticed bars downtown were carrying Narragansett Beer, a beer I’d not heard of, and the price point was low. I tried one. I liked it. It’s a very well-balanced lager, perfect for summer drinking. I don’t know why downtown Cincinnati has become a local champion of beer from Rhode Island, or why it’s priced so low (a buck or so cheaper than other beers). Weird, cheap beer happens occasionally, though. A few years ago, the cheap beer was Hamm’s. You can’t find that anywhere now. I’ll ride the Narragansett wave this summer.

The Week in 513: My area code is 513. This week featured May 13th (5/13), a beautiful sunny day, and I celebrated by eating lunch at Avril’s. Avril’s butcher sets up a grill for lunch in the summer, serving up brats, metts, and dogs. I had a brat, with spicy mustard and sauerkraut, my first brat of 2022, and man did it hit the spot. I’m going to eat a lot of brats at festivals all over town this summer. I bet few, if any, will be as good at the 513 brat I had this week.

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