Monday, May 02, 2005

Tales of a New Homeowner, Part II -OR- "How to waste time in Memphis without really trying"

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Casey and I, new homeowners that we are (!), learned something about ourselves as a couple (at least I think we did). But let me get the house stuff out of the way first.

This past Thursday, we sat in a conference room at a lawyer's office and were each handed a pen. It was all a flurry of papers and explanation of said papers from that point on. It is not fun looking at those HUGE numbers that we will presumably bring down to a pretty little zero by the year 2035. That's the year I turn 60. You know, the age that comes after fifty-nine. With the house papers signed and the wind in our hair and a song in our hearts, Case and I decided to celebrate our little purchase by heading over to Home Depot to promptly buy a washer and dryer. Why not? we thought. We just bought a house -- after that any purchase looks miniscule. Plus, there was a good deal. We wanted to continue with the celebrating, so while Casey picked up two orders of baby back ribs plus some chips and queso from Chili's, I drove to Kroger to find some desserty, cake-like substance but most importantly to get the biggest possible coffee from Starbucks ever. This was one of those moments where I suggested to Casey that I get 20 ounces of stimulating beverage and he said, "Okay!" You don't have to tell me twice. Venti vanilla latte in hand, I found a package of four chocolate-glazed eclairs...mmm, eclairs. We met at home and had a wonderful feast.

Now let me tell you about Saturday. We bought a couple of one-day tickets to a music festival in Memphis a while back because I saw that
Jonny Lang was on Saturday's lineup and you had better believe I was gonna be there! I've been a fan of his for about eight years and seen him live three times (two of those times he opened for Sting, and don't you know that was my ultimate concert experience!). Casey is not a fan of his voice but I was hoping he would at least enjoy it a little bit (he did end up liking the guitar and keyboard work, but still not a fan of the voice). Did I mention I have a really awesome husband?

The site for the festival never mentioned more than who would be there on what day. There was no talk of what time or order things would happen. The gates opened at 1 p.m., so I figured we had better be there when the gates opened! Probably the worst thing about these kinds of events is that it is outdoors, so the smoking is endless and just wretched. There was hardly a place to walk or stand without breathing it all in. So we arrived promptly at one-something, got through the little security line where people were actually throwing their disposable cameras away (remember this for later) as opposed to taking them back to their cars. I don't know, I guess I might do that too, but come on! We got through the ticket line and then thought we would head for the "Blues Tent". The website had mentioned different stages and where a very few would be performing, but what does that help if they don't give you times? Times, people, times!! We finally saw an information booth and Casey got a little booklet thingy, and as he walked back over to me he was mumbling like, "Oh dear" and handed it to me. It took me a second, but I found Jonny Lang's name (ah, on the "Rhythm and Rims" stage after all!) and underneath was the most horrific part of all: 9:05 p.m. What? That couldn't be right. But it was...oh, it was. And here we were -- innocent people without a clue -- and it wasn't even two o'clock yet! I told Casey we could leave, sell our tickets and go home. We certainly didn't want to hang around all the clouds of cigarette smoke and music we hadn't come to hear. It was then discovered that a re-entry hand stamp could not be given until the gates had been open for two hours. Thus commenced Project Sitting on a Curb for the Next Hour and Watching All the Interesting People Go By.

One hour later we were hand-stamped and ready to go. The final decision was to walk downtown so as not to lose our parking spot. The Peabody Place Mall was downtown, looked interesting, and neither one of us had been there. We had so much time on our hands -- we could see a movie! and eat! and get Starbucks! (That last one was mostly me.) It was a very interesting place. Case and I took a bit deciding between "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Sahara", I wanting the former and he the latter. "Sahara" won out, although at the moment I can't remember just how, but it was really enjoyable. Steve Zahn plays the same hilarious character in every movie, and while I'm not a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey or Penelope Cruz, they did alright. In fact, I am here and now officially recommending "Sahara"!

After the movie, it was on to more adventure -- I had my first slice of HUGE pizza in a mall. Sure, I've had pizza, but not the HUGE slices. That was the best crust ever. Casey and I could not stop talking about how good the pizza was, and did you taste this crust? It's unbelievable! We had also bought a slice of chocolate cheesecake (had to trade it in because the first piece had, um, fungus on it, eww). My intention for the dessert was to have it with my latte afterward, and so when Casey reached for it while we were still at the pizza place I was all, "No! We have to have it with the Starbucks!" I'm very picky that way. And although I'm sure you'd love to read an account of dessert, let me skip ahead to the festival.

We got back an hour early and began Project Worm Your Way Through the Mud and the Crowd as Close to the Front of the Stage as Possible -- Yes, I'm Still Behind You. We got pretty close, and after waiting out some "technical difficulties" we saw Jonny and his band stroll onstage. He's very casual that way, and I like that about him as a performer. No big introductions. Oh, and remember the disposable camera thing? How everyone was having to throw them away or take them back to their cars because no way was security going to let cameras in. Well, I could hardly see the stage for all the flashing of the non-existent camera flashes. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but did they do that? Anyway, while the music was really, really, really good and Jonny Lang had outdone himself once again, I have to say that I don't think I would ever brave all of the festival yuckiness again, or endure driving home soooo late and having to wash the smoke out of my hair.

I would, however, spend any old afternoon hanging out at the mall with my darling Case.

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